ZRP still holding MDC-T activists, party says

via ZRP still holding MDC-T activists, party says – NewZimbabwe 09/11/2015

POLICE were, late Monday, still holding at least 16 MDC-T youths on charges of violence following clashes in Harare South Constituency at the weekend.

The activists’ lawyer, Tonderai Bhatasara of the Zimbabwe Layers for Human Rights, confirmed the group would likely appear in court Tuesday.

“They are holding them and are likely to record warned and cautioned statement. Our clients are likely to appear in court tomorrow (Tuesday,” Bhatasara said.

However MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu accused police of trying to force his party activists into admitting the charges without appearing in court.

“The police are insisting that they (activists) should each pay an admission of guilt fine for disorderly conduct but we are strenuously disputing this.

“They cannot admit to disorderly conduct when they did nothing wrong. Our lawyers are handling the matter,” Gutu said.

Violence has remerged in the past two weeks with Harare being the epicentre of clashes between ruling Zanu PF and opposition MDC-T youths.

Police have also been found wanting as they have resorted to “old tactics” of blaming the opposition for most of the clashes.

In Rusape scores of opposition activists were rounded up with some journalists finding themselves at the wrong end as they were also bundled in until the intervention of human rights lawyers.

Last weekend there were clashes in Chinhoyi as MDC-T leader and former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai addressed a rally.

Reports claim that at least 20 activists and police details had to be hospitalised following the clashes in Harare South.

Meanwhile, Tsvangirai urged his party youths to retaliate when attacked, setting the stage for what could be an eventful two year run-in towards the 2018 general elections.

“How can they come here and interfere with our legal right to assemble and hold a political gathering.

“They are lucky some of us are too hold for physical fights. That would never happen,” Tsvangirai told party youths.

Regarding the Harare South clashes, police insisted the MDC-T had been holding an unsanctioned gathering but the opposition argued otherwise.