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  • Strikes and Protests 2007- Save Zimbabwe Campaign

  • Update on the arrest of Save Zimbabwe Campaign leaders
    Save Zimbabwe Campaign
    March 12, 2007

    In a typical fascist behavior and reminiscent of Rhodesian political thuggery, the Zimbabwean police thoroughly assaulted leaders of the Save Zimbabwe Convention while in custody contrary to the provisions of the law and international statutes governing the treatment of detainees.

    In addition to the killing of Gift Tandare, a Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) activist by the regime's murderous police in Highfields on 11 March 2007, reports received this morning indicate that Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) President Morgan Tsvangirai, National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) Chairman Lovemore Madhuku, Nelson Chamisa, the Member of Parliament for Kuwadzana , Mike Davis the Chairperson of the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) and Elton Mangoma the MDC deputy treasurer were tortured in custody.

    There are disturbing reports that Professor Arthur Mutambara, the leader of the MDC pro-senate group is missing and his condition could not be ascertained amid these wanton attacks against the leadership of the Save Zimbabwe Campaign. The same status surrounds Tendai Biti, the secretary general of the anti-senate MDC who was arrested together with Mutambara.

    Save Zimbabwe Campaign, comprising labour unions, students, churches, youths, women's organizations and political parties had organized the prayer meeting for Zimbabweans to meditate on the social, economic and political problems afflicting the country.

    Among the Save Zimbabwe Campaign leaders arrested were, Nelson Chamisa, Job Sikhala, Morgan Changamire, Grace Kwinje, Willas Madzimure, Alois Dzvairo, Madock Chivasa and Mike Davies. Also arrested were Gladys Hlatywayo, Manex Mawuya, Rashid Mahiya and several students from the University of Zimbabwe.

    The Save Zimbabwe Campaign is utterly shocked at the heavy-handed manner in which police quashed what was meant to be a peaceful prayer session. We are further shocked by the brazen assault of Save Zimbabwe Campaign leaders, including MDC leader Tsvangirai. Harrison Nkomo, a human rights lawyer was also brutally assaulted on top of being denied access to give legal assistance to the arrested activists.

    As the Save Zimbabwe Campaign, we view yesterday's events as yet another testimony to a deepening national crisis. The death of Tandare, arrests and torture of Save Zimbabwe Campaign activists open yet another sad chapter in the country's unfolding history. It is unfortunate that precious lives continue to be lost for the furtherance of selfish political interests.

    Lawyers of the Save Zimbabwe Campaign who visited the detainees report that Tsvangirai fainted three times after severe beatings by the police while Madhuku passed out and was rushed to Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare for urgent medical attention early this morning.

    In Highfields, the police last night were assaulting ordinary citizens in the suburb for allegedly supporting opposition politicians and the organizers of the rally. It is reported that several people were injured during the melee instigated by the State.

    In the interests of peace and national development, we call upon the Minister of Home Affairs to unconditionally release all the political detainees. Our position on the development of Zimbabwe remains that we need a new democratic constitution leading to free and fair elections in 2008. Shedding blood of innocent Zimbabweans is retrogressive and inimical to the virtues of the liberation struggle.

    As the nation mourns another lost life, the people of Zimbabwe and the international community are urged to continue rallying behind the cause for a democratic and prosperous Zimbabwe. The death of Tandare and yesterday's arrests will take the people's agenda forward. Our just, legitimate and peaceful struggle will not cease until a new, free, prosperous and democratic dispensation unfolds in Zimbabwe.

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