By Mthulisi Mathuthu
SW Radio Africa
23 June 2014
Last Thursday police in Nyanga detained three church leaders after they attended a prayer meeting organized by the Christian based opposition party, Transform Zimbabwe.
Bishop Nerwande of Holy Cross Church in Mangongondoza Township, together with his associate pastors Mr and Mrs Makawamadze, were detained for four hours during which they were subjected to what the party said was ‘unwarranted interrogation.’
The three were quizzed on their relationship with Transform Zimbabwe and were released without any charge. The following day, the police and the CIO agents abducted party member Pauline Mutasa from her house at around 10pm.
A statement said Mutasa’s nine year old child was left alone as she was being held at the Nyanga Police Station where she spent the night without eating. Police did not give the reasons for the detention but Mutasa, a teacher at a local school, denies any wrong doing.
Transform Zimbabwe spokesperson Sungai Mazando confirmed the incidents saying there was an increase in the harassment of party members around the country. He said: ‘It has been a hectic past couple of weeks for us characterized by successful grassroots efforts ironically rewarded by abductions, harassment and interrogation in areas like Binga, Nyanyadzi, Chimanimani and in Nyanga.’
Mazando said their members were living in fear of further reprisals as the police routinely threaten that they will not stop their clamp down.
These developments come after Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume was abducted a fortnight ago from his hotel room by the CIO.
Transform Zimbabwe was formed in December 2013 following a convention of the 12,000 member Christian network group, Prayer Network Zimbabwe. At the time, Ngarivhume said the party would rally all Zimbabweans towards the country’s transformation in the area of politics. He said the party would ‘focus on re-engagement with the Western countries, building an inclusive and competitive economy empowering Zimbabweans through access to education and health facilities.’