Mother, baby (1) locked up over CCC meeting

SIMBARASHE MTEMBO

MIRROR REPORTER 

MASVINGO – Police in Masvingo ruthlessly descended on Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) supporters who were holding a meeting in Masvingo ahead of the March 26 by-elections when they threw a mother and her one-year-old baby into a filthy cell after disrupting the opposition party’s meeting.

Beatrice Sigauke was hauled into a UD truck with baby Aisha Nemadziwa strapped on her back on Saturday by armed Riot Police with Police dogs.

Her lawyer Martin Mureri of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said the conduct by Police is unprofessional and unethical and he will challenge them in a court of law. 

Sigauke was among 17 CCC Masvingo Ward 4 members detained for convening a meeting at Stephen Mupfugari’s house in Sisk at around 2pm.

They were charged for being criminal nuisances. Police Spokesperson Kudakwashe Dhewa said he was going to look into the matter.

The Mirror is told that the 17 were initially dispersed by Police Assistant Commissioner Florence Marume but after they dispersed, a newly promoted Chief Inspector Elizabeth Chipfakacha descended and trekked them down with armed Police and dog handlers and rounded them for detention at Masvingo Central Police Station. The supporters were wearing CCC T-shirts.

Two CCC aspiring candidates Aleck Tabe (Ward 3) and Richard Musekiwa (Ward 7) were also arrested.

Mureri said he paid a fine of $2 000 for each of the 17 in order to avoid spending two nights in custody.

 “We paid $34 000 for the 17 not because we agreed with the charges but because we wanted to avoid a situation where they would spend two nights in the holding cells. The Police conduct is unacceptable and it will be challenged in court,” said Mureri.

Musekiwa and five other party members were arrested at his house in Rujeko, an hour after leaving the meeting. 

Former Masvingo Urban MP Jeffreyson Chitando confirmed that Assistant Commissioner Marume came and dispersed the meeting at 12pm but Chipfakacha came and arrested them after they had dispersed.

“We were having a closed-door Ward meeting when Marume came and ordered us to disperse. We complied and left but an hour later Chipfakacha came with a UD truck and had us arrested.

“Our Ward members were all wearing CCC yellow branded t-shirts and the Police trekked us all down and arrested us,” said Chitando. https://masvingomirror.com

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