Activists, students languish in jail

HARARE - Five Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) activists, arrested in Bindura Monday after an MDC Youth Forum at Chipadze, were still languishing in police holding cells after they were denied access to a lawyer.
The five are Taedza Muputa, Archibald Ncube, Meleni Mudende, Innocent Chikaya and Keddie Magoda.

“I have not been able to interview my clients since their arrest,” said their lawyer, Alec Muchadehama. “Each time I have gone there police have made all sorts of excuses to ensure that I do not get anywhere near them.”

They are being charged with contravening a section of the repressive Criminal Law (Reform) Codification Act.

MDC youth chairman Thamsanqa Mahlangu told The Zimbabwean: “This arrest is ultra vires the talks that are taking place in SA. It shows growing intolerance to the opposition. Despite assenting to (Constitutional) Amendment No 18 as a confidence building measure, we thought the regime was going to respect us as a party and allow us to have our meetings unhindered.”

He spoke as police arrested Great Zimbabwe University students marching in Masvingo on Monday against the further detention of student leader Eddison Hlatshwayo.

Crisis Coalition spokesman Thabani Moyo said the students were on a peaceful “Free Hlatshwayo” march in Masvingo to show their disapproval of the continued incarceration of the student leader, arrested in September 24 but now remanded to November 8, when the police beat and injured 34 protesting students. – Chief Reporter  

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