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Zimbabwe Police Arrest MDC Activists As Violence Rocks Chitungwiza

FILE:Police monitoring situation in Harare during Zimbabwe three-day protests, Jan. 2019.
FILE:Police monitoring situation in Harare during Zimbabwe three-day protests, Jan. 2019.

Zimbabwean police on Saturday besieged the home of St. Mary’s lawmaker, Job Sikhala, and arrested several youth of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Nelson Chamisa following clashes with Zanu PF activists in Chitungwiza.

In a statement, the MDC said police arrested Stephen Sarkozy Chuma, the MDC national youth assembly spokesperson, while Sikhala, who is also MDC deputy national chairperson, was summoned to the police for no clear reason.

“The police went on an orgy of violence in St. Mary's, breaking doors and barging into private homes in search of anyone suspected to be MDC. No reason was given for the siege and the state-sanctioned violence. Last week, Zanu PF distributed fliers mobilising their supporters to siege the rural home of President Nelson Chamisa in Gutu as well as the urban homes of Vice President Tendai Biti and Deputy National Chairperson Hon. Sikhala.

“The MDC regards the siege in St. Mary's and the incessant harassment of party leaders as needless persecution. The regime is treating the MDC as a terrorist organisation when it is a legitimate political party represented in parliament and running the majority of local government councils.”

The MDC said no amount of intimidation will “cow the nation from sonorously expressing their displeasure at the illegitimate regime that has dismally failed to address the challenges facing the people.

“It is the people who are truly sovereign and terror tactics will not work. State-sanctioned violence will not stop any idea whose time has come.”

Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said they are not aware of the any arrests in Chitungwiza.