via Police descend on MDC-T supporters, journos – The Standard October 25, 2015
BUSINESS came to a standstill in Rusape on Friday when anti-riot police stormed the local magistrate court where MDC-T Makoni organising secretary Tazviona Marima was being tried on criminal nuisance charges for allegedly flashing a red card inscribed, “Mugabe must go”.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
Anti-riot police had been summoned to disperse over 200 MDC-T supporters who thronged the court to hear Marima’s case but were denied entry.
The MDC-T supporters, led by David Tekeshe — the opposition party’s Headlands constituency losing candidate — burst into song and dance, denouncing President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF about 100m away from the court premises, demanding the release of Marima.
Police officers took turns to beat up Tekeshe with baton sticks and unleashed dogs on him. They later left him lying motionless on the ground.
Journalists were not spared, with freelance reporter Sydney Saize, Daily News reporter Bernard Chiketo and The Standard correspondent Kenneth Nyangani being arrested for covering the skirmishes.
They were taken to Rusape police station where they were quizzed for over two hours before being released without charge.
Problems for Marima started last weekend when he applied for police clearance to hold demonstrations against “Zanu PF’s misrule.”
Marima’s letter to the police reads: “The intended date of demonstration shall be October 23 from 0900 to 1730.
“People will be waving some placards and banners saying Robert G Mugabe must go now, he failed because he has broken his oath of office and abused his powers and approved violence.’’
Marima’s world, however, crumbled when he was summoned to the police station to receive his reply on Wednesday.
He said that he was openly told by officer commanding police Rusape District, Chief Superintendent Garikai Gwangwava that there was no space for demonstrations against Mugabe.
Marima alleged police officers then took turns to assault him.
Gwangwava’s reply to Marima reads: “The wording of your letter clearly indicates that your organisation seeks to incite people to remove a democratically elected Head of State, which is an unlawful activity. Therefore, my office will not fold arms and let such activity take place.”
Marima was remanded out of custody on $100 bail.
Gwangwava could not be reach-ed for comment yesterday.