In The balance this week Gugulethu Moyo focuses on the legal aspects surrounding the recent arrests and torture of opposition officials, activists and civic leaders. Gugu also investigates the alleged refusal by the attorney general to prosecute this group who were arrested last Sunday at the Save Zimbabwe rally that was violently blocked by police.
Grace Kwinjeh, Deputy International Relations Secretary with the Tsvangirai MDC is no stranger to the methods of the Zimbabwe security agents, but even she was surprised at the level of brutality meted out to her and her colleagues in custody. She describes the beatings she observed as “Terrible! I will take time to recover. It was insanity. Unbelievable!” Mandisa spoke to her for Callback as she was being taken to the Trauma Centre in Harare for more scans to determine the full extent of her injuries. Grace says her entire body is covered in bruises and that she can hardly move because she was beaten over her entire body and is now on painkillers and antibiotics. She says she was beaten by “up to 20 CIO, Law and Order and Police officers”. She doesn’t know how many times she passed out during the beatings – her assaulters took the time to stand her up and resuscitate her, so they could continue beating her. She describes how 3 other MDC activists were were forced to lie on their stomachs so they could be beaten on their buttocks and called “bitches and prostitutes”. Sekai Holland, Secretary for Research and Policy was targeted “because her husband is white”. They called her “Blair’s woman”, and a female war veteran “danced on her chest”. Mai Holland, who is 64 years old is currently in ICU in the Avenues Clinic where she is recuperating from her injuries. Grace says a female officer was “directing” the beatings, and she heard her say to the other officers, “Uyu haasati arowa” – that person has not been beaten yet – as she singled out Morgan Tsvangirai, Lovemore Madhuku, Sekai Holland, Nelson Chamisa and Grace herself. She says she was very disgusted when some officers began to beat up an activist who is an amputee who was lying on the ground until they were told, “Tina Master Tsvangirai” – we have Master Tsvangirai – then they focused on beating up Tsvangirai.
Grace has a very strong message for Zimbabweans in the aftermath of these brutalities. She speaks of the solidarity from fellow Zimbabweans shown to her and the other victims of the assaults, and she believes that “God is pushing us. The onus is now on us Zimbabweans to liberate ourselves”.
A live interview from the Avenues Clinic with Mike Davies of the Combined Harare Residents Association. He was arrested along with the MDC leadership and others and he speaks to us about the conditions in the police cells and the assaults, beatings and torture. He then passed us over to Professor Mutambara, leader of one of the MDC factions who also spoke to us, despite being under armed guard.
Mutambara Dragged From Hospital Bed To Court
President Arthur Mutambara and 33 others have this evening been taken from the Avenues Clinic where they were receiving medical attention pursuant to a court order obtained earlier this morning by our lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa of Mtetwa , Nyambirai and Associates.
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Immediately after the news we managed to get a live interview from the Avenues Clinic with Mike Davies of the Combined Harare Residents Ass. He was arrested along with the MDC leadership and others and he speaks to us about the conditions in the police cells and the assaults, beatings and torture. He then passed us over to Professor Mutambara, leader of one of the MDC factions who also spoke to us, despite being under armed guard.
Tsvangirai and others taken to hospital
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai was taken to hospital under police guard, after he appeared in court on Tuesday. Observers who were gathered at the Rotten Row magistrates court said the opposition leader was led to court with a badly swollen head. The Crisis in Zimbabwe coalition said all the detainees, including leaders Arthur Mutambara and Dr Lovemore Madhuku had now been taken to the Avenues Clinic but were still under arrest.
Soldiers shoot 2 as the world reacts to Zimbabwe brutality
Soldiers shot 2 innocent civilians near the home of Gift Tandare, the NCA youth official who was shot and killed by police Sunday. The victims were injured and taken to hospital. Mourners said police were not provoked. There has been strong condemnation from the international community at the events unfolding in Zimbabwe.
Save Zimbabwe rally in South Africa
Over 300 Zimbabweans turned up at the Zimbabwean embassy in South Africa Tuesday to protest the torture and arrest of opposition leaders back home. Organised by the Save Zimbabwe Campaign the protest brought together members of different civic groups. Journalist Andrew Meldrum told Newsreel the embassy was heavily guarded by police but it was a peaceful demonstration.
MDC activists in Mutare still in police custody
MDC activists arrested in Mutare on Monday are still in police cells a day after they were picked up just before an anti-government protest in the eastern border town. Pishai Muchauraya the MDC spokesman for Manicaland, who was also arrested, said it took the police more than 30 hours to record cautioned statements from the activists who were now waiting to be taken to court.
On Different Points of View today, Duane Udd looks at the horrendous recent occurrences in Zimbabwe under the oppressive Mugabe regime. He looks ahead with longing and through three new poems expresses hope for a better future in the country when the rightful leaders are in place.
Zimbabwean writer Chenjerai Hove and Pedzisai Ruhanya an Information officer with the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition are the guests on the programme Hot Seat with Violet Gonda. The discussion centres on the arrests of the political & civic leaders and recent recommendations by the political think tank the International Crisis Group.
One dead and opposition leaders arrested as police stop Save Zimbabwe rally
Harare was the scene of violent actions by the police this weekend as citizens tried to exercise their constitutional right to assemble. The NCA youth chairperson for Glen View was shot dead and scores of officials from both factions of the MDC were arrested in the high density area of Highfield Sunday as police used teargas, water cannons and live ammunition to stop a rally organised by the Save Zimbabwe Coalition.
Gift Tandare was shot dead by the Zimbabwe Police militia because he, like thousands of others had gone to attend a Prayer Meeting at Zimbabwe Stadium in Highfields on Sunday, called by the Save Zimbabwe Campaign. He leaves a wife, two daughters and a small son.
Zimbabwe opposition and civic leaders tortured in detention
Shocking reports emerged Monday that many opposition and civic leaders who where arrested Sunday were tortured in custody. MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai was beaten unconscious and could not walk. NCA chairperson Dr Lovemore Madhuku sustained deep lacerations on the scalp and a fractured arm.
140 MDC activists arrested in Mutare
The police crackdown on the opposition continued Monday when 140 MDC activists, including women and children, were arrested at the start of an anti-government protest in central Mutare. The protesters were demonstrating against the murder of Gift Tandari and the subsequent arrest and detention of the MDC leaders.
Analyst says Mugabe isolated, desperate and dangerous
Political analyst Dr John Makumbe says Mugabe is finding it difficult to find any one who is willing to support his continued stay in power and the isolation had increased his desperation. Makumbe says orders for the police to use live ammunition had to have come from the very top and could not be blamed on overzealous policemen.
Police break rules on the use of firearms
A former senior police officer with the Zimbabwe Republic Police has accused the force for not following the â€˜three golden rulesâ€™ for the use of deadly weapons.
Reports of police brutality
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Deputy Secretary for International Relations, Grace Kwinjeh, is in a critical state after sustaining head injuries. Kwinjeh is being held at Braeside Police Station (+263 4 742261) which is being manned by military police with four other detainees. There are also serious concerns about the health of MDC official Sekai Holland who is being held at Avondale police station,(+263-4-336632).
Activists are also being held at:
Rhodesville +263 4 481111 / 495753
Highlands + 263 4 495304 / 495340 / 495504
Borrowdale +263 4 860 061/7
Marlborough +263 4 301801/301802
Tich speaks to the Tsvangirai MDCâ€™s Foreign Affairs secretary Professor Elphas Mukonoweshuro about the plans by the Southern African Development Community to discuss Zimbabweâ€™s worsening political and economic crisis at its annual summit in Lusaka, Zambia . He says that during their visits to many SADC capitals concern about the Zimbabwe situation has been routinely expressed to them privately by the Heads of State and Government, but this is the first time it has been tabled for debate.
Mugabe’s last kicks? In Letter from America Dr. Stan Mukasa argues that Mugabeâ€™s increasing repression is the last kicks of a dying horse.