22 March 2019

Zimbabwe: Activist Takes Grenades to State House, Nabbed

Photo: Daily Trust

An activist was yesterday arrested at the Bulawayo State House where President Mnangagwa was meeting Matabeleland civil society leaders after he was found in possession of items that looked like grenades.

Police arrested one Zenzele Ndebele for conduct likely to breach the maintenance of public peace, in an incident with a chilling reminder that President Mnangagwa was bombed at White City Stadium last year.

Details were sketchy last night, with authorities ascertaining the nature of the objects, but preliminary indications were that they could have been chemical weapon cannisters such as teargas, likely to be thrown in an offensive posture.

Sources said alert security officials recovered items that could threaten public peace as Ndebele drove into the State House.

Ndebele, who is said to be a journalist, is a director of Centre for Innovation and Technology (CITE), an online media organisation.

A security source said he was found with suspicious articles used by security agents, but could not elaborate further.

"(His arrest) it has to do with his conduct that was likely to breach the maintenance law and order. He was likely to breach maintenance of public peace considering that this was a public gathering. So he had no reason at all to go into that gathering carrying some items which in actual fact are items which are used by security services and he is not a member of the security services."

Unconfirmed reports said Ndebele was allegedly found in possession of teargas cannisters in the restricted area in a city where President Mnangagwa escaped an assassination attempt in June last year.

The security source added: "The law is very clear no one should go into any public gathering carrying items which legally no one would be allowed to be in possession of. He had no reason at all to carry those items to the gathering. Whatever he was carrying he had no reason to be in possession of those items."

He said Ndebele is likely to appear in court today.


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