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Strikes and Protests 2007- Save Zimbabwe Campaign
Statement on the arrest of the Save Zimbabwe Campaign leaders
March 11, 2007
Today, 11 March
2007, around 1200 hours, 110 Save Zimbabwe Campaign leaders and
members were arrested in Highfields high density suburb, as they
were heading for a prayer rally scheduled to be held at the Zimbabwe
leaders include Morgan Tsvangirai (President Movement for Democratic
Change), Arthur Mutambara (President MDC), Dr Lovemore Madhuku (National
Constitutional Assembly Chairperson) and MDC secretary general
legislator, Job Sikhala, Elias Mudzuri, Grace Kwinjeh, Sekesai Hollard,
Nelson Chamisa (Spokesperson) Honorable Madzimure (MP Kambuzuma),
Professor Arthur Mutambara (President), Grace Kwinje, Job Sikhala
(MP St Mary's), Crisis Coalition Advocacy Officer Gladys Hlatshyayo,
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA Chairperson) Dr. Lovemore
Madhuku, Murdock Chivasa (NCA Spokesperson) and provincial NCA leadership.
students from the Christian
Students Movement were arrested in Kambuzuma at YWCA
where they were conducting a workshop.
The Save Zimbabwe
Campaign had decided to go ahead with the prayer rally because religious
gatherings are exempted from the ban on rallies imposed by the Government
last month. Lawyers are being denied the right to see the arrested
By the time
of going to press, Biti, Mudzuri and Mutambara were still detained
at Highfields police station, whilst Sikhala, Madzimure, Kwinje
whilst Hlatshyayo, Chivasa, Madhuku, Chamisa and others were at
the Central Police station.
has been turned into a war zone where churches, shopping centers,
beer halls were closed by the police. At Gaza land, armed police
stood at the beer hall entrances beating up the patrons who had
been besieged inside.
All roads leading
to the high density suburb were barricade by road blocks; cars were
heavily vetted before getting into the homestead area which had
been turned into a war tone zone.
By the time
the leadership entered Highfields, the Save Zimbabwe Press team
spotted 12 police tracks making their way towards the venue, as
they beefed up their reinforcement.
police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzinjena appeared on national television,
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH), issuing out grave statements
to the people who had plans to support the rally, threatening that
they were prepared to employ all means at their disposal to quell
up and mop any attendance at Zimbabwe grounds.
Before the leadership
took to Highfields, Assistant Inspector Mhondoro, of the Law and
Order Central Police station pounced on the leadership meeting in
the city center threatening arrests on the grounds that the meeting
was not sanctioned. However the leadership remained defiant only
to regroup at another venue after three tracks of riot police dismissed
re-grouped in Kambuzuma, at Y.W.C. A conference center, were more
than 25 students from the Students Christian Movement were running
a workshop on gender issues and the crisis engulfing the education
sector. In a clear indication that the communication system had
been bugged, two Lorries fully packed with armed police officers
arrived at the venue about five minutes after the leadership of
the campaign had left for the venue. They went on to bundle the
students, harassing and threatening them with imprisonment if they
did not disclose the route which the leadership had taken and their
plan. After two hours of interrogation 20 were released and the
other five, whose names could not be identified, were locked at
Warren Park Police station.
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