Mutasa Central legislator Trevor Saruwaka (MDC-T) has been arrested for allegedly leading a demonstration against the partisan distribution of seed and fertiliser under the Presidential Inputs Scheme.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
Almost 100 MDC-T supporters stormed the Grain Marketing Board depot in Mutasa District last week, denouncing Zanu PF and traditional leaders for corruption and politicising government-sourced agricultural inputs.
Saruwaka was arrested on Wednesday and formally charged under the Public Order and Security Act for convening an illegal meeting, or gathering, demonstration or petition.
Blessing Nyamaropa of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights confirmed the development.
Saruwaka was detained at Mutare Central Police Station for a whole day before his release.
‘’I was detained and spent the entire day (Wednesday) at Mutare Central Police Station. Criminal Investigation Department officers left a note at my house on Tuesday night and I was not there. They asked me to report to their office as soon as l saw the note,’’ he said.
“Yesterday (Wednesday) at around 10am, I went to Mutare Central Police Station in the company of my lawyers. The investigation officers recorded a warned-and-cautioned statement before they took my fingerprints, but we spent almost the entire day detained.’’
Saruwaka said the police were keen to understand the role he allegedly played in organising the demonstration.
“But l did not organise the demonstrations. l can’t remember the person who handed me the petition, but l fully agree with the contents in the petition,” he said.
Meanwhile, the State yesterday closed its case against aspiring Makoni North MDC-T legislator David Tekeshe and opposition activist Willard Nyazorwe, who are facing charges of assaulting a police officer.
Tekeshe, who was facing another charge of disorderly conduct, appeared before Rusape magistrate Shingi Mutiro, who set January 29 as the ruling date.
After three witnesses had testified in the matter, prosecutor Tirivanhu Mutyasiri said they were closing the matter, while the accused’s lawyer, Blessing Nyamaropa of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, said he would make an application for discharge at the close of State case.
The duo was also represented by Taurai Khupe of Khupe Law Chambers.
It is the State’s case that on October 23 last year, the accused persons and fellow party members numbering 100 gathered outside the Rusape Magistrates’ Court.
Police officers received a tip-off that the MDC-T members allegedly wanted to engage in an unlawful demonstrations against President Robert Mugabe.
While outside the court, the accused persons allegedly sang and chanted political slogans.
They alleged incited the multitude of MDC-T supporters to attack the police officers by throwing stones at them.