Angolan authorities yesterday detained a delegation of Zimbabwean civic society organisations at the De Fevereiro International Airport in Luanda and confiscated material they intended to distribute at the Sadc Summit being held here.
Angolan security and immigration authorities detained the civic society activists for four hours accusing them of being aligned to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC-T.
Those detained are Dewa Mavhinga, Crisis in Zimbabwe regional coordinator, Philip Pasirayi, spokesperson of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, Dzimbabwe Chimbga, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights projects manager, and Tawanda Chimhini of Zimbabwe Elections Resource Centre. The security agents ransacked their baggage and confiscated material they said was offensive. Their passports were also taken, but were later released.
The material included books documenting human rights abuses in Zimbabwe and the entrenched role of the military in the country’s political processes.
“The materials detailed the partisan role of the military in Zimbabwe’s political and electoral affairs,” said Mavhinga.
He said they were in Luanda to raise their concerns about political violence in Zimbabwe.
Mavhinga said his organisation would present its position paper to Sadc highlighting their concerns regarding security sector re-alignment and denouncing political violence and other critical areas.
Chimbga said: “We are naturally disappointed by the treatment we received from our regional brothers, but we remain focused on the main goal of our presence here which is to ensure issues concerning the finalisation of the roadmap to the political processes in Zimbabwe are put on the agenda and agreed to and adopted by Sadc.”
Last week, journalists and civic society representatives were deported by authorities here.
The crunch summit is expected to kick off today.