By Violet Gonda
26 March 2010
The human rights group Restoration for Human Rights (ROHR) has criticized Bindura police for going on a witch-hunt for MDC supporters.
The pressure group said two MDC members were arrested on Thursday, in separate incidents, on allegations of undermining the office of the President under section 186 of the codification act.
ROHR Information Officer, Ronald Mureverwi, said Makesure Mafukidze, an MDC Councillor for ward 3, was picked up in Bindura town in the morning and is currently locked up at Bindura central police station. The Councillor is accused of making utterances during a political rally earlier this year. It is not known what exactly he said.
Seymour Mhene was arrested on the same day, for allegedly criticising the police and accusing them of bias against members of the former opposition.
ROHR said Mhene passed a comment during a recent New Zimbabwe lecture series, organized by the Research Foundation of Zimbabwe, condemning the police for being partisan and wilfully arresting members of the MDC on falsified charges.
Mureverwi said the two are likely to spend the weekend in custody and are only expected to appear in court on Monday.
The latest arrests from Bindura come just days after the arrests of Shepherd Mushonga, the MDC MP for Mazowe Central, who was detained last Saturday for also ‘undermining the office of the President’ during a political rally in February. He allegedly said, ‘Mugabe might not be around come the next election’.
ROHR said the legislator was summoned to court but the case was thrown out because of lack of evidence.
The pressure group says the arrests deny people the much needed right to freedom of expression and free political activity.
Mureverwi added: “What is happening is very unfortunate when our country is in a period of transition, when we are trying to enhance the spirit of inclusivity and to try and encourage people to mould democratic ideas through the public expressing themselves. We don’t expect a situation where there is a cult of holy leaders that cannot be criticised.”