MP ar­rested over NERA demos

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Richard Muponde Gwanda Cor­re­spon­dent

FIF­TEEN Na­tional Elec­toral Re­form Agenda (NERA) pro­tes­tors in­clud­ing MDC-T pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment, Ms No­math­emba Ndlovu, have been ar­rested in Gwanda af­ter po­lice foiled a demon­stra­tion by op­po­si­tion par­ties.

A coali­tion of op­po­si­tion par­ties un­der the ban­ner of NERA have been or­gan­is­ing vi­o­lent de­mon­stra­tions dur­ing which thugs de­stroy and loot shops un­der the guise of de­mand­ing elec­toral re­forms ahead of the 2018 elec­tion.

Mata­bele­land South po­lice spokesper­son In­spec­tor Philisani Nde­bele could not be reached for com­ment yes­ter­day but one of the par­tic­i­pants and Gwanda Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion sec­re­tary gen­eral, Mr Bekezela Mad­uma Fuzwayo, con­firmed that anti-riot po­lice picked up 15 peo­ple near Pe­land­aba Sta­dium on Satur­day.

“They were picked up near Pe­land­aba Sta­dium as they marched to the town cen­tre from Phakama Shop­ping Cen­tre where they had as­sem­bled.

“They were taken to Gwanda po­lice sta­tion where they were de­tained for two hours. Among those picked up was MP No­math­emba Ndlovu. How­ever, they were later re­leased with­out be­ing charged,” said Mr Fuzwayo.

Those ar­rested were MP Ndlovu, Solani Moyo, for­mer Gwanda ex­ec­u­tive mayor Maxwell Zinti Mnkandla’s son Kukhanya, Hlangano Zwam­bila, Jonathan Mapin­gire, Velisiwe Nkomo, Gabriel Moyo, Cathrine Ncube, Edgar Ncube, Mandla Twala, Zimiso Sibanda, Alex Masendeke, Mqabuko Ndlovu, Re­gious Tlou and Mthabisi Mpofu.

The de­mon­stra­tions were in de­fi­ance of a po­lice ban on protests meant to pro­tect in­fra­struc­ture and the gen­eral pub­lic.

In Harare, po­lice last week banned de­mon­stra­tions for a month.

Harare po­lice boss Su­per­in­ten­dent New­bert Saun­yama placed a no­tice in the Press that the po­lice were tem­po­rar­ily ban­ning protests in the Harare cen­tral busi­ness dis­trict from Septem­ber 16, 2016, to Oc­to­ber 25, 2016.

Ac­cord­ing to the po­lice, the ban was in terms of in Sec­tion 27 (2) (a) of the Pub­lic Or­der and Se­cu­rity Act (POSA).

De­mon­stra­tions by the op­po­si­tion par­ties re­cently turned vi­o­lent, lead­ing to de­struc­tion and loot­ing of shops and burn­ing of cars be­long­ing to the Zim­babwe Broad­cast­ing Ser­vices and ZRP.

They also burnt ven­dors’ richardmuponde stalls. — @

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