MDC-T activists arrested at a funeral wake in Harare
By Tichaona Sibanda
There was pandemonium in Warren Park on Thursday when overzealous police swooped on a group of mourners and arrested 35 of them, following disturbances with ZANU PF youth.
Among those picked up by the police was the father of the deceased who died in a car accident on Wednesday in Harare. The MDC-T confirmed the arrests in a statement but did not release the name of the deceased or that of the father.
Our correspondent Simon Muchemwa said since both father and son were staunch MDC-T supporters, most of the mourners at the funeral wake wore party regalia and were singing and chanting MDC songs and slogans.
‘We are being told that at some point there was clash between mourners and members of ZANU PF’s notorious Upfumi Kuvadiki group (a shadowy so-called empowerment group). This group threw stones at the mourners and some vehicles were damaged.
‘The group quickly fled the scene only to phone the police that they were attacked by MDC activists. So when the police came they just picked up the mourners and took them to Warren Park police station,’ Muchemwa said.
The MDC said the 35 detainees were transferred to Harare Central Police station on Friday and charged with assault and theft, adding that the police are yet to identify the assault victims or the stolen property.
In related issues of MDC-T harassment, Midlands North Province Lazarus Zviito, the Zhombe Ward 6 chairperson, and Tafadzwa Muchakagara, who were arrested and remanded in custody since February 7th, were released by the Kwekwe Magistrate’ court on Thursday.
The party said Zviito and Muchakagara were arrested on trumped-up charges of public violence and had been in remand prison then. The two are facing charges of threatening ZANU PF ward vice chairperson, Ishmael Sibanda and intimidating Chief Samuel Samambwa.
There has also been another death this week from an MDC-T official who was badly beaten in 2008. In the run up to the presidential run-off election Edward Tseka Tandi, vice chairperson for Nembudziya in Gokwe, was savagely attacked by ZANU PF thugs in Nembudziya and had to undergo major surgery. He never fully recovered from his injuries.
The 54 year old died at his Avondale home on Tuesday and has been buried at his rural home in Mutora, Nembudziya. Hundreds of MDC-T supporters bid farewell to this strong ward leader who braved the assaults of ZANU PF to continue fighting for democratic change.
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