“Tamuka Denhere, our party activist, was abducted in Mkoba, Gweru, on August 12 and dumped at Harare Central Police Station, where he is now detained,” he said.
“In Kwekwe, Midlands youth chair Sekai Marashe; Mbizo ward 5 councillor Melody Chingarande, Mbizo ward 12 councillor Washington Moyo, leaders Tinashe Nyamushosho, Lovemore Savanhu and Musenwa were last Friday brought to court on trumped-up charges of leading a demonstration that occurred early this year with soldiers and riot police driving away other people who had turned up in solidarity with them.”
Zhou said the police justified the heavy security presence at the court on the basis that the accused allegedly wanted to stage a demonstration after the hearing. The case was postponed to September 3.
Kwekwe ward 1 councillor Silas Mukaro was apprehended and briefly detained for allegedly attending an unlawful meeting last Wednesday.
However, when police failed to exactly point to such unlawful meeting he had attended, he was released without charge.
Zhou decried the developments.
“It is evident that MDC Alliance supporters in Midlands province are under siege as police seem to be trigger happy to arrest them without carrying any investigations. As Midlands province, we urge Zanu-PF to mellow down to a more constructive approach permeable to reason and facts and to realise that MDC Alliance supporters are not second-class citizens,” he said.
“The police must also act in a non-partisan manner and should never arrest in order to investigate, but rather investigate in order to arrest. MDC Alliance supporters must be treated with the dignity and inalienable rights as any other Zimbabweans and human beings. The naked and outright violations of the rights of MDC Alliance supporters must be stopped forthwith.”
Zhou said if there was continued selective application of the law and brutalisation of “peace-loving citizens”, they will defend themselves and their rights.
“To be forewarned is to be forearmed. The state can never be built on the basis of violence and trampling of people’s rights, but on the basis of peace, stability and respect of inalienable rights of citizens,” he said.
Midlands police spokesperson Inspector Joel Goko was yesterday unavailable for comment. National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi did not pick calls on his mobile phone.