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Strikes and Protests 2007- Save Zimbabwe Campaign
March 12, 2007
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The whereabouts of Tsvangirai Mukwazhi a photojournalist who freelances
for Associated Press remained unknown on 12 March 2007 amid reports
he had been arrested together with leaders of opposition political
parties during skirmishes in Harare during which police shot and
killed an opposition MDC activist in cold blood.
Lawyers representing the arrested politicians and civic leaders
told MISA-Zimbabwe on 12 March 2007 that they were battling to ascertain
at which police station Mukwazhi was being held.
Mukwazhi, a freelance photojournalist was arrested together with
a colleague at Associated Press, Tendai Musiyu, a freelance television
producer, who is being held at Marlborough Police Station. "We
are still to locate Mukwazhi but have since established that Tendai
is being held at Marlborough police station," said lawyer
Gift Tandare, an MDC activist, was shot and killed in Highfield
on 11 March 2007 when police cordoned off Zimbabwe Grounds, venue
of a scheduled national day of prayer organised under the auspices
of the Save Zimbabwe Campaign which is being spearheaded by Christian
Alliance. MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai was arrested and severely
assaulted by police who are detaining him at Borrowdale Police Station.
Speaking at a news conference in Harare on 12 March 2007, leaders
of the Save Zimbabwe Campaign condemned the arrests and assaults
as barbaric and called for the immediate and unconditional release
of the leaders. Frantic efforts were also being made to file an
urgent High Court order to secure their release.
Tsvangirai was arrested together with National
Constitutional Assembly chairperson Lovemore Madhuku, MDC secretary-general
Tendai Biti, Authur Mutambara leader of the other MDC faction, legislator
Job Sikhala and Grace Kwinje and Nelson Chamisa of the Tsvangirai
faction. Madhuku is reported to have fractured an arm following
the severe assaults by the police.
In a blatant violation of the fundamental rights of freedom of expression,
assembly and association on 21 February 2007 the government imposed
a three-month ban on demonstrations and political rallies in Harare.
The police cited the violence, looting and destruction of property
in Highfield on 18 February and Kambuzuma on 4 February 2007 as
reasons for the ban. On the 18th, police violently stopped a High
Court sanctioned rally in Highfield by the opposition MDC leading
to violent clashes between riot police and supporters of the main
The police invoked the restrictive Public
Order and Security Act (POSA) to effect the bans under Section
27 which allows for the temporary prohibition of the holding of
public gatherings within police districts for a period not exceeding
The clashes in Highfield came a day after the High Court granted
the MDC an order allowing them to proceed with their rally to launch
its 2008 presidential campaign at the Zimbabwe grounds in the same
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