MDC-T arrest sparks riots


The Rotten Row Magistrates’ Courts were yesterday turned into a near warzone when MDC-T youths clashed with anti-riot police as they protested against the arrest of their leader Solomon Madzore who was appearing in court over allegations of murdering a police officer in Glen View, Harare, in May this year.

Madzore together with another party activist Lovemore Magaya, face charges of murdering Inspector Petros Mutedza whom police say was stoned by rowdy MDC-T supporters as he attempted to stop their illegal gathering.

The two join 26 other party activists who have since appeared in court over similar allegations.

Drama started after the duo arrived in a police vehicle and the youths who were planted all over drove closer to the police van, chanting party slogans and singing for the release of their leaders who they said were being persecuted.

“You killed Learnmore Jongwe and now you want to kill our president (Madzore). Release our leaders now,” chanted the youths.

MDC-T youth spokesperson Clifford Hlatywayo said: “We did that in solidarity with our president and we maintain he is innocent and the detention is unlawful so we call for his immediate release.”

The two detectives accompanying Madzore and Magaya retreated, but eventually managed to take the two into the court building.

Immediately, anti-riot police were called to reinforce security and for close to 30 minutes, fought running battles with the youths who threatened to hit back if the police officers beat them.

Inside the court building, there was more drama as anti-riot police battled to drive out scores of relatives, friends and MDC-T supporters who intended to follow the court proceedings.

Police closed the main entrance to the courthouse and only court officials, security agents and people exiting the building were allowed to pass through.

Last night, MDC-T claimed 13 of their supporters had later been abducted by suspected Zanu PF youths and five were still missing.

However, police spokesperson Inspector James Sabau professed ignorance of the claims.