The two Bulawayo Agenda employees Busani Ncube and Zansi Mabunda were arrested and detained at Lupane police station for holding a public meeting without police permission. Police had initially banned the public meeting last week but Bulawayo Agenda secured a High Court order giving a green light to the meeting.
However on Saturday heavily armed police stormed the venue of Bulawayo Agenda’s public meeting at Lupane Business Centre before arresting Ncube and Mabunda who is pregnant.
“There were arrested during a public meeting in Lupane despite a court order which gave them a green light to hold the public meeting,” said Anele Dube, Bulawayo Agenda’s Information Officer.
When Radio VOP contacted Ncube through his mobile phone and he confirmed the arrest saying police were still interrogating them. “We have been arrested; we are still inside the police station and being questioned,” said Ncube.
According to the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) Matabeleland North province is now the most hostile province in the country as police have so far arrested or harassed more than 40 politicians and human rights activists since January last year.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in October last year said Matabeleland North province police are now politicised and applying the law selectively by harassing and arresting political activists week in week out.
Matabeleland North police have been also preventing Tsvangirai from campaigning in the province since the run up to the June 27 2008 presidential run-off poll.
Co-Home Affairs Minister, Theresa Makone, who is also an MDC member, recently said she will approach President Robert Mugabe and Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri over the partisan conduct of the police especially those in Matabeleland North province.