Zim police arrest lawyer, MDC officials

2013-03-17 16:29


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Harare - Zimbabwe police arrested the country's most prominent rights lawyer and four senior officials of the prime minister's party on Sunday and held them at the capital's main police station, an independent lawyers group said.

Rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa is being accused of "obstructing or defeating the course of justice," Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said.

The charge comes after she went to assist Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's chief legal adviser, Thabani Mpofu, during a police raid at his Harare home early on Sunday, the group said.

Police also raided and searched a suburban office of Tsvangirai's media and communications department.

Three other members of Tsvangirai's personal staff were also arrested on Sunday morning, the lawyers group said.

They were identified as Warship Dumba, Felix Manditse and Annah Muzvidziwa, all close aides of Tsvangirai.

Voting in a referendum on a new constitution ended late on Saturday.

All main party leaders called for a "Yes" vote on constitutional reforms.

Another official of the former opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, was arrested before polling began.

No reasons were given for the arrest by four armed police of Sampson Magunise, a party organiser in eastern Zimbabwe.

Police enforced a clampdown on rights and pro-democracy groups in the run-up to the referendum vote.

The lawyers' group said no further information on the new arrests was immediately available, but witnesses said Mtetwa demanded that police produce a search warrant at Mpofu's home and she was forced into a police vehicle in handcuffs.




Read more on:    mdc  |  morgan tsvangirai  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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