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of NCA Activists Arrested And Beaten During Countrywide Demonstrations
Violet Gonda, SW Radio Africa
July 25, 2007
Scores of activists
from the pressure group National
Constitutional Assembly were arrested on Wednesday, during countrywide
demonstrations to raise awareness of the need for a new constitution.
It's reported police used force to disperse the crowds and many
people were assaulted. NCA coordinator Tapera Kapuya said there
were protests in Harare, Bulawayo, Kwekwe, Gweru, Mutare, Masvingo
He said in Masvingo 23
people were arrested and charged for public disorder. Kapuya said
another 20 had been detained in Masvingo but they were still to
be charged. 17 activists were arrested in Gweru, and the Mutare
home of NCA field officer Bernard Dube was raided by suspected state
security agents. Kapuya said Dube was also abducted and his whereabouts
are unknown. Information was not available on the arrests in Harare
and Bulawayo at the time of broadcast.
The NCA coordinator
said the protestors were also distributing educational literature
about the consequences and implications of the 18th
amendment to the constitution, which the government is proposing.
NCA chairperson Dr. Lovemore
Madhuku described amendment no.18 as 'treacherous and contemptuous'
when he addressed protestors in Harare. He said: "Zimbabwe
needs a constitution that entrenches human rights and freedoms,
ensures a free and open society and an electoral system that gives
citizens power to elect leaders who are responsive to their needs."
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