Police Arrests Constitution Activist Madhuku

Filabusi, – Zimbabwe police armed with guns and batons on Wednesday dispersed over 200 National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) members gathered at a constitutional discussion meeting in Filabusi and arrested its chairperson Lovemore Madhuku.\r\n

"Heavily Armed Anti Riot Police details with guns, dogs and baton sticks force marched and dispersed close to 250 NCA members who had gathered at Filabusi Town Centre for an NCA Take Charge campaign meeting," the NCA said in a statement.

The NCA, a constitutional lobby group has which has been campaigning for a people driven constitution in the past decade, has vowed to urge Zimbabweans to vote against the government led constitution making process.

"The NCA National Chairperson Dr Lovemore Madhuku and National Youth Chairperson Alois Dzvairo were briefly detained at Filabusi for two hours and accused of holding a meeting without seeking the approval of the police."

The NCA condemned the actions of the police adding that the action by the law enforcement agents to disrupt gatherings will not deter them from fighting for a just and democratic society.

"The NCA condemns the overzealous behaviour and action by the police; such actions are an affront to freedoms of association and assembly. We reiterate that no amount of fear nor intimidation will deter our conviction and commitment in the fight for a just and democratic society," the NCA said.

"We urge our membership and the people of Zimbabwe to remain steadfast and resolute in the struggle for a genuine people driven and democratic constitution for our country."

The NCA launched the Take Charge campaign in July together with the Zimbabwe national Students Union (ZINASU) and the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) to oppose any outcome of the parliamentary led constitution making process, which they say is flawed.

The NCA mounted a similar campaign in 2000 under the “No Vote” campaign which led to the rejection of the draft constitution produced by the Chidayusiku Commission being rejected by Zimbabweans.

The NCA said it was confident that it will once again be successful in its efforts to encourage Zimbabweans to reject the current constitution making process because it is not people driven.

It is taking advantage of the festive holidays to reach out to people in the rural areas as part of its lobbying strategy.

Meanwhile a committee of parliament leading the constitution making process said it will start collating data provided by Zimbabweans during the consultative period in the first week of January.

The co-chairpersons of the committee, Paul Mangwana and Douglas Mwonzora confirmed that the government has released a further $ 2,1 million for this process. – Radio VOP