Police violently disrupt constitution meeting in Shamva

The police in Shamva are reported to have disrupted a sanctioned meeting which had been convened by MDC-T members in Shamva, Mashonaland Central Province. Some of the participants had to run for cover when police threatened to unleash dogs and teargas on them. The Crisis report team is reliably informed that  r four policemen led by Constable Mutinha from Chakonda police station stormed the meeting and instantly ordered participants to vacate on 22 September 2012.

One of the attendants Paul Makwati confirmed to the Crisis Report Team that their gathering which was poised to inform people in the Chakonda area on the developments around the constitution making process and particularly the 2nd All-Stakeholders Conference was disrupted by the police who accused the MDC-T members of violating the Public Order and Security Act (POSA).

"Police stormed our meeting wielding baton sticks. The leader of the Group, Constable Mutinha was holding a revolver as he ordered us to vacate the meeting venue. He ordered his juniors to assault and arrest us €, lamented Paul Makwati.

Makwati further claims that some of the innocent people were arrested and later detained at Shamva police station for more than three hours. He complained that the way the police handled the matter was a miscarriage of justice because ZANU PF members are always allowed to hold their meetings without seeking clearance from the police.

Another community leader in the area Last Korai informed the Crisis Report Team that members of the Chakonda village raised complaints that the disturbances had become typical of the constitution making exercise where there is selective application of the law. He also lamented the lack of professionalism in which the police continue to exhibit in communities.

"On Thursday, the 20th of September 2012, ZANU PF held a meeting in this constituency under the theme "Operation ziva paumire € which was allowed by the police to proceed without any disturbances. Police were there following the proceedings as if they are ZANU PF members. The meeting was said to have been about coercing locals in the area to come out clear on their political affiliations and it is also alleged that prior to the meeting, Zanu-PF supporters had been patrolling the area intimidating villagers to attend the meeting. Is this how the police and political parties should behave in a democracy?, € an angry Last Korai exhorted.

However ZANU PF members in Shamva were alleged to have refuted the allegations saying that the meeting they held was spearheaded by war veterans and was only meant for the chiefs, headmen and councillors and the agenda of the meeting was to inform them on how Zimbabwe attained its independence.

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