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Zimbabwe Police Raid Tsvangirai's Office, Arrest 5 Senior Officials

  • Gibbs Dube

Police early on Sunday morning raided the offices of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and arrested five senior officials before locking up their attorney Beatrice Mtetwa, a prominent Zimbabwean lawyer.

Attorney Alec Muchadehama, who is representing Thabani Mpofu, Anna Muzvidziwa and Felix Matsinde, and two others, said his clients are being held at Harare Central Police Station.

Mr. Muchadehama said the five have not yet been charged by the police.
He said Mtetwa, who was arrested when she tried to make enquiries about the arrest of the mdc officials, is currently being held at Harare’s Rhodesville Police Station.

Police declined to comment about the arrests saying investigations are in progress.
Meanwhile, despite the relative peaceful environment during voting on Saturday, Mr. Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) said Sunday evening it is concerned by an increase in the arrest of its members and human rights activists on referendum day.

In a statement, the party said in Kariba, Mashonaland West Province, four MDC members - Nomatter Makwasha, Vincent Mpofu, William Zvavahera and George Masendu - were arrested and detained at Mahombekombe Police Station on allegations of pasting vote yes campaign posters close to a polling station.

Makwasha, Mpofu and Zvahera were released Sunday morning but Masendu will appear in court Monday.

In Harare, Makario Chinongwa, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) assistant advocacy officer and Tariro Mhende, Okay Machisa’s personal assistant, were arrested for allegedly taking pictures at a polling station at Eastridge Primary School.

The two were taken to Harare Police Station’s Law and Order section. Chinongwa was detained while Mhende was released after she was forced to pay an admission of guilt fine.

Chipo Zuze, an employee of the Election Resource Centre was arrested and detained at Glen View South police station for allegedly asking to see the election results at a polling station.

In Masvingo’s Rujeko suburb, Tapiwa Renias Winslow was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct in a public place after he questioned the presence of police officers in a polling station while he was casting his vote.

Winslow, who was assaulted while in police detention, remains detained at Masvingo Central Police Station.

The party further said Crispen Masenda, an MDC activist, was arrested in Masvingo on allegations of pasting campaign posters while Christopher Chirigise of Shamva in Mashonaland Central Province, was locked up at Mushambanyama, Ward 20 and detained at Shamva Police Station for wearing a vote yes t-shirt inside his shirt.
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