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  • Strikes and Protests 2007- Save Zimbabwe Campaign

  • Save Zimbabwe leadership arrested
    Save Zimbabwe Campaign
    March 11, 2007

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    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 Grounds Stadium.

    The arrested leaders include Morgan Tsvangirai (President Movement for Democratic Change), Arthur Mutambara (President MDC), Dr Lovemore Madhuku (National Constitutional Assembly Chairperson) and MDC secretary general Tendai Biti.

    Others include legislator, Job Sikhala, Elias Mudzuri, Grace Kwinjeh, Sekesai Holland, 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.

    Whilst five 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 leaders.

    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.

    Highfields 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.

    Yesterday, the 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 everyone.

    The leadership 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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