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Tsvangirai Meets Released MDC-T Activists

Some of MDC activists were released from Chikurubi Maximum Prison last December. (FIle Photo, Courtesy Image)
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader and former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Thursday met with the three party members who were released from remand prison Wednesday who told him about the harrowing life prisoners in Zimbabwe’s jails.

The trio - national executive member Last Maengahama, Harare councillor Tungamirai Madzokera and a member of the Harare province Youth Assembly Yvonne Musarurwa, were released from remand prison after spending 3 years in prison facing allegations of murdering a police officer in Glen View, Harare, in May 2011.

They were part of 29 MDC members who were arrested on similar charges in 2011. The other 21 were acquitted last year.

Tsvangirai said the arrest and incarceration of the MDC members was persecution. The three told Tsvangirai that they were disheartened that their colleague Rebecca Mafikeni died in detention last year.

They said Chikurubi Maximum Prison was now a death trap as it was overcrowded, had no food, water and prisoners were dying due to malnutrition-related diseases.

Efforts to get a comment from Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa were futile. But last year he told parliament it was not true that prisoners were dying due to malnutrition related deaths.

Maingehama said the situation in prisons is dire.