NCA spokesperson arrested

By Violet Gonda
27 February 2009

Madock Chivasa, the spokesperson of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) and the board chairperson for the Youth Forum, was arrested in Masvingo Thursday evening, together with 5 other youth activists.

George Makoni, Information Officer for the Youth Forum, said Chivasa is being accused of inciting violence, while the other activists were arrested after a scuffle broke out between the police and the members of the Youth Forum, who were trying to block Chivasa’s arrest. Several others were beaten up.

Makoni said Chivasa had just finished addressing the gathering of about 300 youth members on the role of youths in the transitional period, when police stormed the venue. Passers-by were caught in the scuffles and advocacy materials belonging to the group were confiscated.

The public meeting was dubbed: “The role of youths in the transitional period vis-à-vis national healing, peace building and conflict transformation.”

The Information Officer said they were being denied access to Chivasa and the others. He said Masvingo police were not giving them any information about where the activists are being detained and they feared the detainees will only appear in court after the weekend.

In other news, Frank Muchirahondo, the USAID employee who was arrested last month on allegations of attempting to assassinate the Commander of the Air Force, Air Marshall Perence Shiri, was freed this week after a Bindura magistrate refused to place him on further remand. It’s reported Muchirahondo was beaten and tortured while in detention.

At the time of his arrest the US embassy said they had clear evidence that their employee was not anywhere near the scene of the alleged shooting. The USAID employee was arrested on January 22nd at the Mutare border. US officials said he had been on a humanitarian mission, monitoring food aid.

Meanwhile the five WOZA activists arrested this week in Harare are still in police custody. They were beaten and arrested during a peaceful demonstration on Wednesday as they tried to present a petition to new Education Minister David Coltart.


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