Zimbabwean police have arrested Harare City Council Warship Dumba of the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in connection with the death of police Inspector Petros Mutedza in Glen View on May 29, bringing the number of MDC activists arrested in connection with the killing to 24.
Elsewhere, the Harare magistrate court on Monday remanded to Tuesday 20 members of the Tsvangirai MDC arrested earlier this month in connection with the crime. Three who were arrested last week made their initial court appearance on Monday and were remanded to June 17 for a bail hearing, according to legal sources.
The MDC says its supporters had nothing to do with Mutedza death at a Glen View bar, accusing the police seizing on the killing as a pretext for a political crackdown.
A number of MDC supporter have fled their Glen View homes, fearing arrest. Lawyer Marufu Mandevere told VOA Studio 7 reporter Sithandekile Mhlanga that Dumba was still in police custody and that no charges have been brought against him.
Meanwhile, police in Bulawayo refused to vacate a house they raided last week to break up a meeting of the activist group Women of Zimbabwe Arise. WOZA sources said some women in the house at the time of the raid Friday made good their escape.
Two cars belonging to WOZA members parked at the house in the Suburbs section of Bulawayo also remained under police control despite requests by lawyers for the human and consumer rights organization to be granted access to the property.
“We have the right to meet in the privacy of a house," WOZA National Coordinator Jenny Williams told VOA Studio 7 reporter Chris Gande.
Williams said police occupation of the house proves there is no political will to ensure freedom of assembly and end official harassment of human rights defenders.