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Zimbabwe Police Release Bishop Magaya

FILE: Police vehicles and water canons parked on the outskirts of the city following a job boycott started via social media platforms, in Harare, Wednesday, July,6, 2016. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Police have released the leader of the Devine Destiny Network Bishop Ancelimo Magaya and several other people who were arrested Thursday after attempting to stage a peaceful demonstration to express their concern over the deteriorating economic situation in Zimbabwe.

In an interview with Studio 7 last night, Magaya said they were told to go home without any charges preferred against them.

Heavily-armed police arrested the would-be protesters and bundled them into a police truck and ferried them to Harare Central Police Station.

Newsday journalist Obey Manayiti and freelance reporter Robert Tapfumaneyi, who were covering the protest, were briefly detained by the police. They were released with no charges.

Police spokesperson Charity Charamba said she could not comment because she was yet to be briefed about the case.

Some opposition parties have condemned the arrest of Bishop Magaya saying demonstrations were provided for under Zimbabwe’s new national constitution.

Jealous Mawarire, spokesperson of the Zimbabwe People First party led by Joice Mujuru, said the police must exercise restraint when dealing with church organizations.

Mawarire’s sentiments were echoed by Douglas Mwonzora, general secretary of the MDC formation led by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Bishop Magaya and his colleagues wanted to demonstrate against what his organization called President Mugabe’s misrule, police brutality and the worsening economic situation in the country.