News and Information

Chamisa Arrested
September 10, 2004

The Herald (Harare)

September 10, 2004
Posted to the web September 10, 2004


KUWADZANA MP Nelson Chamisa (MDC) was arrested on Wednesday, together with 12 other opposition members, on allegations of holding an illegal political meeting in the constituency.

Chamisa and the 12 MDC members spent Wednesday night in custody and were set to spend a second night in cells yesterday as the police had not yet released them by late last night.

Police chief spokesman Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena confirmed the arrest.

"Yes, Chamisa was arrested together with 12 other MDC supporters for allegedly holding an illegal meeting at a certain house in Kuwadzana and the police are still questioning them," he said.

Asst Commissioner Bvudzijena said the legislator and the 12 opposition members were expected to appear in court soon after investigations had been completed.

Chamisa's lawyer, Mr Alec Muchadehama of Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni Legal Practitioners, said the MP was still in police custody by late last night.

"Mr Chamisa and the 12 MDC members are still detained at Harare Central Police Station and I am trying to secure his (Chamisa) release pending a court appearance," he said.

"I do not know if I will succeed because the police have so far not yet responded to my request."

Mr Muchadehama said the MP had been charged with contravening Section 24 sub-section 6 of the Public Order and Security Act (Posa) that prohibits the holding of political meetings without police clearance.

He said no charges had been pressed against the 12 MDC members.

Mr Muchadehama said Chamisa and the 12 opposition supporters were arrested on Wednesday night in Kuwadzana and were taken to Marimba Police Station before being transferred to the CID Headquarters yesterday.

The arrests follow hard on the heels of a police raid on MDC offices in Bulawayo in search of subversive material following a tip-off from members of the public.

Police swooped on the MDC's provincial offices just before dusk on Tuesday before proceeding to the regional offices where they found the premises locked as workers had already knocked off for the day.

They then left a few police details to keep an outside guard and came back on Wednesday to conduct their search.

However, the police did not find any subversive material at the opposition party offices.

Chamisa is also on $50 000 bail on allegations of holding an illegal rally in Unit O, Chitungwiza, and is jointly charged with Obert Manzunzu, the party's secretary-general for youths, and Bekithemba Mpofu, the youth deputy secretary-general.

The charges against the trio, who were remanded to September 28, arose in June this year at a pre-school in Unit O, Chitungwiza, after they allegedly held a political rally without the permission of the regulating authority, which is the Chitungwiza district police.

It is alleged that when police arrived at the pre-school, they heard people chanting MDC slogans and inquired what was happening.

The State alleges that the youths manning the gate confirmed that there was an MDC political meeting taking place but denied the police entry into the premises

The police officers went to St Mary's Police Station where they called for reinforcements before forcing their way into the pre-school and found Chamisa, Manzunzu and Mpofu addressing the meeting.

It was also discovered that the Chitungwiza district police had not sanctioned the rally.


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