4 March 2013

Zimbabwe: 14 MDC-T Supporters Arrested for Violence

POLICE in Chegutu on Saturday arrested 14 people, all thought to be MDC-T supporters, for allegedly perpetrating acts of violence when stopped at a roadblock. The supporters are believed to have been on their way to Gweru where MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai was going to address a rally for a "vote Yes" campaign.

Police spokesperson Superintendent Paul Nyathi yesterday confirmed the arrests, saying the group was still assisting with investigations at Chegutu Police Station.

He identified the 14 as: Kennethy Nyanhindi (29), Friday Matawire (19), Chigwada Tatenda (22), Masenda Benson (22), Archieford Mutsagwa (29), Waison Chapfungamoyo (29), Tendai Katsariga (28), Terrence Perk (30), Nash Ngoroyemoto (25), Elisha Mandizvidza (34), Michael Gondo (31), Simba Murigwa (42), Rodwell Madziyire (age not given) and Trouble Hasha (40).

Supt Nyathi said the group was arrested at a roadblock along the Harare-Bulawayo highway near the town.

"Police details were manning a roadblock and a Munenzva Bus Registration Number ABJ 4087 which was being driven by Herbert Nhamo was stopped on approaching the police checkpoint," he said.

"The driver was discovered to be travelling ahead of his scheduled time as reflected on the bus timetable and was subsequently arrested."

Supt Nyathi said in the process, the 14 suspected MDC-T supporters disembarked from the bus which had 54 supporters on board and confronted one of the police officers.

"They demanded that the driver be released and one of the accused persons snatched the police detail's cellphone and went back into the bus," he said.

"Other supporters ran back into the bus and that is when other police details moved in and the bus was taken to the local police station where investigations were instituted. The accused are still in custody at Chegutu Police Station and investigations are continuing."

He said the cellphone was not recovered.

Supt Nyathi said police were ready to deal with anyone obstructing them from discharging their mandate.

"We warn anyone who tries to obstruct police officers from performing their constitutional duties that the full wrath of the law will be applied."

Police have said they would deal decisively with people who perpetrate violence as Zimbabwe gears for the referendum this month and general elections later.

President Mugabe last week ordered police to arrest all perpetrators of violence regardless of their social standing.

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