Zimbabwe arrests top rights lawyer

2013-07-20 22:02
A child holds a balloon during the launch of the Movement For Democratic Change's election campaign in Marondera, about 100km east of Harare. (Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, AP)

A child holds a balloon during the launch of the Movement For Democratic Change's election campaign in Marondera, about 100km east of Harare. (Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Harare - Zimbabwean police on Saturday arrested a prominent rights lawyer running for parliament against President Robert Mugabe's party in 31 July polls, a lawyers group said.

Arnold Tsunga, vying for a seat in the eastern city of Mutare, was detained together with his campaign team allegedly for holding an unauthorised rally, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said.

"They are currently detained at Dangamvura police station and the police have indicated their intention to transfer them to Mutare Central Police Station," the group said in a statement.

Police were not available to comment.

Tsunga is running for the Movement for Democratic Change of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Mugabe's archrival.

The lawyers association said another MDC activist and lawyer, Jacob Mafume, was barred from holding a campaign rally in a Harare suburb.

Slow voter registration

Zimbabwean parties are preparing for the 31 July vote, which will end the uneasy coalition between Tsvangirai and Mugabe born of the power-sharing deal that followed deadly 2008 post-election violence.

The run-up to the elections has been marred by a slow voter registration that left thousands off the roll and a chaotic special vote for the security forces.

Right groups have warned of political violence and intimidation as both leaders ramp up their campaigns.

Under Zimbabwe's security laws political gatherings or marches have to be sanctioned by the police but rights groups and opposition activists complain that rule is never enforced for Mugabe's Zanu-PF.

Mugabe, at 89 the world's second oldest head of state, is seeking another mandate at the helm of the troubled country, which he has ruled since independence in 1980.

Read more on:    mdc  |  zanu-pf  |  morgan tsvangirai  |  robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.