Four jailed for holding meeting without police clearance

BULAWAYO - Zimbabwe police have held four opposition legislators and
civic leaders in jail since arresting them last Sunday for holding a
community meeting without first seeking permission from the law enforcement
agency.

The two opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) legislators,

Norman Mpofu and Lutho Tapela, were arrested after holding a consultative

meeting with the community in the western border town of Plumtree.

Two civic leaders in the town Helija Moyo and Edwin Ncube were also

arrested after helping organise the meeting that was held last Saturday.

The four were still being held in police cells by late Tuesday evening

but were expected to appear in court today to face charges of violating the

Public Order and Security Act that requires Zimbabweans to notify police

first before holding political gatherings or marches in public.

Gordon Moyo, the chairman of Bulawayo Agenda a local civic group that

works with the community in Plumtree, said: “We have never sought police

clearance to hold such office consultative meetings and it is clear that the

government has intensified its crackdown on the opposition and civic society

groups.

“The meeting was just like any office or company meeting and does not

require any police clearance.”

The MDC has in the past accused the police of using the security Act

to target ban its meetings and arrest its supporters and allies in a bid to

cripple the opposition’s push to dislodge President Robert Mugabe from

power. – ZimOnline.

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