BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
OPPOSITION Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume was yesterday arrested for defying a police directive which barred him from conducting a clean-up exercise in Mbare, Harare.
Ngarivhume last night confirmed his arrest.
“I was arrested and detained before I was released without charge. Police confiscated the equipment we were using. I was warned against conducting similar clean-up exercises in the future,” he told NewsDay.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said he had not yet been apprised about the issue as it was being managed at lower administrative structures.
Police on Monday blocked Ngarivhume’s 31st July Movement from conducting the clean-up campaign, saying the cleaning exercise had turned into a political campaign in the past.
Ngarivhume had sought clearance from the police to carry out the clean-up exercise between Matapi and Matererini Flats yesterday, as well as at the vegetable market on May 7, 2021 between 10am and 2pm, but police told him to leave the task to City of Harare.
Before his arrest, Ngarivhume told NewsDay that he was determined to continue with the clean-up exercise as he had rights to do so as enshrined in the Constitution. “It is our right to live in a clean environment,” Ngarivhume said.
“There is no politics on cleanliness. We can’t be responsible citizens who stay in filthy places. It is not only those two areas which we want to clean, but there are several other places that need to be cleaned in this high-density suburb of Mbare. We are in the midst of the pandemic and we need clean environments to stay safe from the virus.
“We will participate during the national clean up exercise on Friday this week, but one day per month is not enough. People dump rubbish each day hence we can’t wait for one day of every month to clean our environment. Cleaning should be done on a daily basis.”
He said he was briefly arrested last week and police held the two trucks he had hired for the exercise.