War vets arrested over COPAC meeting

BULAWAYO Two notorious war veteran leaders were last week arrested in Mberengwa, Midlands province after they led a group of Zanu (PF) youths to disrupt a constitutional parliamentary committee (COPAC) meeting.

Sayinai Madhaka and Charles Chigwengwenene, who were said to have terrorised MDC supporters during the June 2008 presidential election campaigns were arrested after an incident at Vutsanana secondary school under Chief John Bhera-Mataruse last Sunday.

Edius Moyo, MDC (T) chair for Mberengwa district was at the meeting and said Madhaka and Chigwengwenene led a group of more than 20 Zanu youths armed with logs and sticks.

About 200 villagers had gatheredbut just a few minutes before the arrival of COPAC officials, Madhaka and his armed grouparrived and ordered everybody to disperse. They accused COPAC officials of being MDC activists who had organised the meeting without seeking permission from war veterans, said Moyo.

Moyo said Madhaka and his group also accused villagers of being stubborn, saying they were snubbing Zanu meetings in the area, only to come in large numbers for the COPAC meeting.

He said when COPAC officials arrived at the meeting venue later they were also threatened by the war veterans.

Madhaka and his group were arrested on Wednesday three days after the incident and made to pay US$10 each as an admission of guilt on public violence charges

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