What many observers are calling an ongoing crackdown by Zimbabwean authorities loyal to President Robert Mugabe, police issued a summons to Lovemore Madhuku, chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly, to appear in court on March 16.
Madhuku is accused of holding an illegal rally in 2004. He was at the Harare Magistrates Court attending a hearing on treason charges brought against socialist Munyaradzi Gwisai when plain-clothes police officers served him with the summons.
Madhuku told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that the government’s tactics will not silence him or his organization from speaking out against bad governance.
The National Constitutional Assembly has long demanded a "people-driven" constitution for Zimbabwe, but is campaigning for a "No" vote in the referendum expected to be held later this year once a draft revised constitution has been produced. The group says the revision process, directed by a parliamentary committee, is fatally flawed.
In Bulawayo, meanwhile, Bulawayo Central Member of Parliament Dorcas Sibanda of the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and five others were detained on Tuesday by police for over five hours on allegations they supported protests unsuccessfully called for on a Facebook page.
Fourteen of 21 members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise arrested Sunday and Monday for allegedly meeting to “promote public violence” were released Tuesday evening without being charged. The other seven were released Wednesday on US$50 bail each.
The seven were expected to appear in court on March 16, sources said.