The four who included Zimbabwe MLF chairperson Nonsikelelo Ncube, Makhiwa Ndebele, the organization,s spokesperson, Ntombizodwa Moyo and Makhosi Khumalo were arrested inside the courtroom after magistrate John Masimba ruled that the accused had a case to answer and should stand trial.
The three officials, Paul Siwela, Former army officer Charles Gumbo and former Zipra cadre, John Gazi were remanded in custody to March 25
The leaders are facing treason charges.If convicted they could face death sentence.They are accused of planning to topple Mugabe after they were allegedly found in possession of fliers calling for a separate Ndebele state.
Following the ruling, police detectives from the Law and Order Section pounced on the other four MLF members who had attended the court session and arrested them, saying they were being taken for questioning.
Max Mnkandla, an executive member of MLF, confirmed the arrest of Ndebele, Ncube, Moyo and Khumalo on Friday, adding that other MLF members are on the run fearing arrest as police begin their crackdown against those suspected to be working for the organization.MLF has gained ground in the rural areas of Matabeleland South where youths have been distributing fliers, T-shirts and other party regalia.
“ They have not been released. They are still at the Bulawayo Central Police station and no charge has been laid against them, ” Mkandla told Radio Vop in Bulawayo.Mkandla is a former Zapu cadre whose organization, Zimbabwe Liberators Peace Initiative (ZLPI) has teamed up with villagers to fight off farm invaders in Matabeleland..
Acting Bulawayo Police spokesperson, Inspector Precious Simango could not be reached for comment.But sources in the police force confirmed that police yesterday detained four MLF members at the Bulawayo Central Police station.
MLF says a separate Matabeleland state is necessary to put an end to the marginalisation of the region which lags behind in development.