Zim Rights Leaders Arrested, Beaten Before Release

The leadership Community Tolerance and Reconciliation Development (COTRAD) said they were beaten up and harassed while in detention before the police disrupted their demonstration.

The five were Cotrad director, Gamuchirai Mukura, Programmes Officer, Brighton Ramusi, Talent Maposa, Muchaneta Chinho and Anorld Batirayi.

Mukura told Radio VOP after their release that they were harassed and beaten while they were incarcerated.

“They picked us up in the morning while we were organising our youths to start the peaceful march. Armed police took us to Masvingo central and detained us while others disrupted the youths who later dispersed,” he said.

Mukura said they were charged of organising an illegal demonstration and defying a ban of the march by the police.

“We said our march was illegal and we defied their call for ban when we approached them to notify them of the march. But we went ahead because the law says you must notify police not to seek permission from them,” Mukura said.

He added that they sustained injuries during the beatings but vowed to go ahead with the demo.

“Although they assaulted us and detained us after disrupting our demo. We will re-group and organise another one until Sibanda leaves.

He said the intention of the March was to take a petition to Governor Titus Maluleke to order Sibanda out of the province.

Sibanda is accused of leading a reign of terror in the rural Masvingo province where he forces villagers to meetings and threaten to kill anyone if President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu (PF) lose the next elections.