BlackFacts Details

13 arrests as army, police quash demo

BY Staff Reporters PEACEFUL protesters, among them prominent novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga and MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere, were arrested yesterday as heavily armed soldiers and police crushed the planned protests. Human rights lawyer Obey Shava and his three MDC Alliance clients, Joanah Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova were also arrested near the Zanu PF headquarters on their way to Harare Central Police Station for their routine remand reporting in line with their bail conditions. National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the arrest of five people, including Dangarembga and Mahere, but said the situation was calm across the country. “No reports of violence were received by police and security services as they continued to conduct patrols, roadblocks and checkpoints to ensure safety, security and health of Zimbabweans,” Nyathi said. Several arrests were recorded across the country, including that of Masvingo-based Disability Amalgamation Community Trust activist Henry Chivhanga. Others are Mzingaye Matthew Thaka from Bulawayo, Edward Dzeka, MDC Alliance councillor for Chegutu, Lloyd Kashiri, Nkulumani Matoboto and lsheanesu Chimunyemba. However, one of the organisers of the protests, Godfrey Tsenengamu said the action by authorities was a clear indication of panic. “What has happened so far is an indication that the authorities have panicked and this is the reason why they blocked the major roads and cleared the city centre,” the former Zanu PF youth leader said. “They were afraid of July 31 and they just care about power. We are of the view that this was a success considering how we have managed to get the attention of the leadership and how authorities have responded to the call.” “They have deployed every soldier, every police officer, including those who were on off days to come back and reinforce. This is an indication that when people unite, they can bring a system down,” he said. MDC Alliance deputy chairperson Job Sikhala said: “The people showed that we are more sophisticated than the oppressor. We expressed ourselves and we had two clear plans when we called for this action.” He said they planned the day knowing well that the State was ready to unleash its entire arsenal to deal with the protesters and unleash its “massive military arsenal against the citizens”. “Today, Zimbabwe witnessed an unprecedented shutdown. Everything was at a standstill, this was Zimbabwe speaking. This was your victory, you did not support this regime and out of fear for their cruelty, you stayed home. They intended to butcher innocent citizens, but you are cleverer than them,” he said. Several shops remained closed in Bulawayo while soldiers patrolled the suburbs in Zimbabwe’s second capital. Police on Thursday abducted relatives of prominent journalist Mduduzi Mathuthu who they are hunting for in connection with the protests. Lawyer Nqobani Sithole filed an application to compel police to release Mathuthu’s nephew Tawanda Muchehiwa. In Domboshava, soldiers pounced on people

Cuisine Facts

Lifestyle Facts