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 demonstrations demanding electoral reforms.
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.
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.