HomeNewsMDC-T activists arrested for ‘insulting’ Mugabe

MDC-T activists arrested for ‘insulting’ Mugabe

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KWEKWE — Five MDC-T activists, clothed in party regalia, were on Saturday night arrested at Mbizo 7 beerhall on allegations of denigrating and insulting President Robert Mugabe, but were released yesterday after paying fines for disorderly conduct.

Blessed Mhlanga

The five — Jona Mataramvura, Christopher Chabata, Charles Amoda, Panganai Maduveko and Collen Phiri, who spent the weekend in police cells — were only released after paying admission of guilt fines of $10 each on Monday morning to a different charge from what they had been told during their arrest.

Mataramvura said police swooped on them as they were dancing to Sulumani Chimbetu’s hit song Sean Timba and accused them of reducing the person of Mugabe to a Sean Timba who needed to be dealt with.

“We were then detained at Garandichauya Police Station in Mbizo on Saturday night and later moved to Kwekwe Central Police Station on Sunday over allegations that we had insulted the President,” he said.

Police, however, charged them with contravening Section 41 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (Disorderly Conduct in a Public Place) before asking them to pay $10 each as admission of guilt on tickets.

“I do not know why they just did not make us pay the fine in the first place instead of detaining us over the weekend, telling us they would take us to court. It appears the police wanted to use the cells to deter us,” Amoda said.

MDC-T Mbizo youth chairman Searchmore Muringani accused the police of trying to disrupt campaign efforts by his party, as they move towards the elections.

“There appears to be a conspiracy to weaken our campaign because the rate at which our campaign teams are being arrested at times over fictitious charges is alarming. We are worried, but this will not stop us,” he said.

Midlands police spokesperson Inspector Emanuel Mahoko said he did not know why the five had not paid fines immediately after their arrest.

“I am not aware of the circumstances of this particular matter, but sometimes people who are arrested do not have fines on them and in other cases fines need to be assessed before they are paid and an assessing officer might not be immediately available,” he said.
Mahoko, however, promised to check on the reasons why they were detained over the weekend.

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