Mutare Deputy Mayor & 26 more MDC activists arrested in Buhera
By Violet Gonda
17 March 2009
More MDC activists have been arrested in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s home area. Last week violence broke out in parts of Buhera during the funeral of Susan Tsvangirai, with the MDC saying 10 homes belonging to their supporters were burnt down. At that time 17 party activists and the MDC Deputy Mayor of Mutare, Admire Mukorera, were arrested. The Deputy Mayor was released after being detained overnight, but the 17 activists were remanded in custody, to March 30th.
The arrests continued on Tuesday with a further 26 MDC activists being picked up in Buhera North. MDC spokesman for Manicaland, Pishai Muchauraya, said despite being released without charge at the weekend, the Mutare Deputy Mayor was also re-arrested and had his house raided at 4am on Tuesday. He was taken to Murambinda police station and is expected to appear in court on Wednesday with the latest group.
Muchauraya said that makes a total of 44 MDC members now in detention and accused of committing public violence on the 11th February – the day Amai Tsvangirai was buried. The MDC in Manicaland accuse the police of selectively using the law to target their supporters, leaving out the ZANU PF culprits. Muchauraya said they’ve been told by police sources that orders are coming directly from the top and named the Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri and Senior Police Assistant Commissioner Musarasana Mabunda from Harare as giving the directive to arrest MDC members.
“These are pure ZANU PF activists back at the police headquarters discharging their political duties. It has nothing to do with these so-called crimes committed. It’s just a ploy by ZANU PF to terrorise our supporters.”