Police in Zimbabwe on Thursday arrested all councillors and some local authority managers in Chitungwiza who were attending a full council meeting.
Councillor Tumai Fungai Magadzire told VOA Studio 7 that they were detained at St. Mary’s Police Station with no specific charges laid against them.
“We were all taken by surprise by the police raid. We are currently at this police station and indications are that we will be ferried to Harare Central Police Station for screening. We are very much surprised about this,” said Magadzire.
Police spokesperson, Senior Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said he was not aware of the arrests.
Several journalists were also arrested and locked up at the same police station.
In a statement, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said they are representing three journalists, “who have been arrested by Zimbabwe Republic Police officers while covering a Full Council meeting. The three journalists who include freelance journalists Phil Jambaya, Albert Masaka are being transferred from Chitungwiza to Harare.”
At the same time, the Media Institute of Southern Africa expressed concern over the arrest of the journalists.
The arrest of the councilors follows the locking up of Harare mayor, Jacob Mapfume, who is accused of allegedly parceling out a stand to his sister.
Mapfume’s attorneys have dismissed the arrest as politically-motivated.
Thomas Chiripasi contributed to this article