6 November 2012

Zimbabwe: MDC Deplores Arrest and Attacks On Civil Society and Pro-Democracy Activists

Photo: The Standard
Zimbabwean police. (file photo)

press release

The MDC notes with great concern the upsurge in the arrests, intimidation and harassment of civic society members, political activists and journalists across the country by Zanu PF members and State security.

The MDC condemns yesterday's illegal raid and arrest of five members of the Counselling Services Unit (CSU) in Harare by the police. The CSU is involved in providing medical and psychological care to traumatised people.

In Chivi North, Masvingo province, two MDC officials were on Monday arrested on false charges of holding an unsanctioned meeting in the district.

The two Kenny Machingura, the ward secretary for Ward 8 and Chidaushe the organising secretary were part of hundreds of MDC members who converged at Makovere Business Centre for an MDC meeting on Saturday.

However, the police tracked them on Monday at their homes and arrested them. They are currently detained at Mashava Police Station and the police are threatening to arrest more MDC members in the area for attending the meeting.

We also note with concern the arrest of Watson Ofumeli, a photojournalist with The Daily News. The arrests come barely a week after the MDC Midlands North treasurer, John Kinnaird and his wife were brutally attacked at their Kadoma home by Zanu PF youths. The couple is still hospitalised due to injuries sustained during the attack.

The selective application and abuse of the country's existing legal instruments to target the civic society members, MDC activists and independent journalists shows a deliberate attempt to muzzle debate and sell a particular viewpoint which favours Zanu PF.

What is unsettling is that the arrests come at a time when the inclusive government should be working hard on improving critical reforms before the country goes for the referendum and elections in 2013.

It is an affront to democracy and we call for an immediate end to these illegal acts by the State and Zanu PF.

The last mile: Towards real Transformation!!!

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