Three arrested in Bulawayo over voter mobilisation exercise
By Tichaona Sibanda
Three members from the National Youth Development Trust in Bulawayo were
arrested on Wednesday for mobilising residents in Pumula to register as
Two of the arrested have been named as Garikai Mhendo and Lucky Mutiti,
while the third has only been identified as Mayibongwe. A fourth member of
the group, Kelvin Ncube managed to evade capture and is reportedly on the
Confirming the arrests, lawyer Nontokozo Dube-Tachiwona told our
correspondent in Bulawayo Lionel Saungweme that the three members of the
NYDT were picked up outside the Pumula Housing office.
Speaking on SW Radio Africa’s Hidden Story program, Saungweme told us the
offices are also used as an outpost of the Registrar-General’s office, where
residents in Pumula and surrounding surburbs can go and register to vote.
However, many tenants in the surburb were facing problems getting their
landlords to help by providing letters confirming their status as tenants.
Therefore, members of the NYDT had devised a simple plan where they were
urging people with Econet phone lines to register using their sim card
receipts, which contains proof of where they reside.
‘They told their lawyer that when police stopped them they were in the
process of helping residents to register as voters. The three said they had
taken it upon themselves to help because many people are not registered to
vote in Pumula.
‘They also complained that many landlords are not helping their tenants by
supplying information confirming their status, a requirement needed when one
is registering to vote,’ Saungweme said.
But police in the country have mounted a crackdown on anyone not from ZANU
PF seen helping or mobilising people to register as voters.
Party spokesman Rugare Gumbo is quoted in the Herald saying his party is
mobilising supporters and new members to register ahead of the harmonized
‘What is worrisome to many people is the fact that ZANU PF has a free reign
in registering its supporters whilst those perceived to be against the party
are blocked or arrested for attempting a similar exercise,’ Saungweme added.
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