ROHR Zimbabwe News Alert 26 March:

Bindura police yesterday in separate incidents arrested two supporters of the MDC on allegations of undermining the office of the president under section 186 of the codification act.

MDC Councilor for ward 3 Makesure Mafukidze was picked up in Bindura town around 0800 hours and locked up at Bindura central police station for utterances he is alleged to have made during a political rally early this year.

In another separate incident, Saymore Mhene was arrested on alleged charges of undermining police authority. Information made available to ROHR Zimbabwe is that, during a New Zimbabwe lecture series organized by the Research Foundation of Zimbabwe, Mhene passed a comment criticizing the police for being partisan and willfully arresting members of the MDC party on falsified charges.

Commenting on the arrests, the provincial secretary for Mashonaland Central province expressed deep concern towards efforts he described as illicit, targeted at weakening the activities of their party in Mashonaland Central. “They are desperately trying to find faults from every rally to use as basis for arresting our party members. They say that our songs insult the head of state but our party president Morgan Tsvangirai has been a victim of vilifying demeaning hate speech from ZANU Ps party supporters and ironically none of the culprits has been arrested.’’

He chronicled the persistent arrest as vindicating the suspicions that the police in Mashonaland Central are feared to be on a decreed order to intimidate the outspoken MDC activists on rallies.

The two arrests came barely a few days after the MDC Member of Parliament for Mazowe central, honorable Mushonga was quizzed and summoned to attend a court hearing on allegations of insulting the office of the head of state. 

ROHR Zimbabwe views the arrests as relentless and tantamount to denying the citizenry the much needed right to freedom of expression and free political activity, silencing the voices of all those agitating for accountability, fairness, justice and transparency.

For Peace, Justice and Freedom