Drama as Biti and MDC-A officials are abducted in court


There was drama on Saturday at Harare Magistrates court after the police are alleged to have bundled MDC Vice Presidents Tendai Biti and Lynette Karenyi-Kore and other MDC officials inside a vehicle and sped with them from the courts to Harare Central police station.

According to the lawyers,  Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, police took the opposition leaders because they wanted to add more charges on top of the Criminal nuisance charge they are facing.

“Lawyers who tracked MDC Alliance leaders to Harare Central Police Station are being told that police now intends to add more charges of violating #COVID-19 lockdown regulations against  @BitiTendai, @KarenyiKore, @gladyshlatywayo, @LChinoputsa, David Chimhini and Vongai Pome.” ZLHR posted on Twitter.

ZLHR@ZLHRLawyers

Lawyers who tracked MDC Alliance leaders to Harare Central Police Station are being told that @PoliceZimbabwe now intends to add more charges of violating -19 lockdown regulations against @BitiTendai @KarenyiKore @gladyshlatywayo @LChinoputsa David Chimhini&Vongai Pome

“The MDC-Alliance party leaders have already been charged with criminal nuisance for allegedly singing outside their party headquarters on Friday.

MDC leaders were dramatically spirited away by  police from Rottenrow Crt where they were to appear for bail ZRP has added charges of violating #COVID19 Regs. Charges appear to be coming in instalments.”

The MDC leaders are accused of trying to break into the MDC Headquarters Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House.

Biti, Lynette Kore and five other senior party officials were Saturday granted $1 000 bail each at the Harare magistrates’ courts.

They appeared before Harare magistrate Bianca Makwande facing charges of contravening Covid-19 regulations outside MDC headquarters, Harvest House (now Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House) in central Harare on Friday.

The politicians are involved in a messy fight for the ownership of the party headquarters, home of the main opposition party since 1999.

Other party officials who appeared in court are; Gladys Hlathwayo who is secretary for international relations and her deputy Lovemore Chinoputsa, Manicaland provincial chair David Chimhini, deputy youth spokesperson Womberayi Nhende, and Vongai Tome.

The seven were represented by Beatrice Mtetwa who complained in court that the police failed to adhere to Covid-19 regulations and exposed the politicians to a risk of contracting the virus.

“There was no compliance with Covid-19 regulations by the police from the time they were arrested to the time they were brought to court,” she said.

“They were loaded into a truck with an officer who was coughing badly. They were not given masks or any sanitisers despite requests. The cells were overcrowded and not sanitised.”

Mtetwa said the accused intended to sue the police for exposing them to the pandemic.

“Mr. Jeremiah Bamu will proceed to press charges after court,” said Mtetwa.

Clemence Chimbare and Stylon Marufu prosecuted.

The State did not oppose bail.

The MDC lot will be back in court on July 24 for its routine remand.

Mtetwa gave the notice to challenge placement on remand on the next date.