Police Arrest Co-Healing Minister and Madhuku

Lupane/Chisumbanje, – Police in Lupane on Friday morning arrested Moses-Mzila Ndlovu, the co-Minister of National Healing for attending a Gukurahundi memorial service while in Chisumbanje Claris Madhuku, the director of Platform for Youth Development Trust (PYD) was arrested on Thursday for a Global Political Agreement (GPA) she attended in Chipinge.\r\n

The Movement for Democratic Change spokesperson, Edwin Ndlovu, confirmed Mzila-Ndlovu’s arrest in Hwange.His arrest comes a day after Lupane police detained a Catholic priest, Father Marko Mabutho Mnkandla for presiding over the same memorial service in Lupane.

“He was arrested this morning in connection with the memorial service that was held on Wednesday,” Ndlovu told Radio VOP, adding that no specific charge has been laid against the Minister.

On Thursday, Mzila-Ndlovu had told Radio VOP that police were looking for him when contacted for comment about the arrest of the Catholic Priest.

Mzila-Ndlovu had said: “Father Mnkandla has been arrested for conducting the church service. I am told police are also looking for me.”

The mass ceremony was celebrated on Wednesday afternoon.

Lawyer Matshobana Ncube is representing the Catholic priest and Mzila-Ndlovu.

Mzila-Ndlovu was on Tuesday barred by police from addressing a national healing meeting at Kezi business centre. Police officers stormed the meeting just before the minister’s address and ordered the villagers to disperse, saying they had received instruction from their superiors at Gwanda Police Station to call off the meeting.

The Catholic Priest, Mnkandla in his address during the church reportedly said what was needed in the country was justice to be delivered to perpetrators of the Gukurahundi massacres. “Those who spearheaded the Gukurahundi massacres should be brought to justice. If we have the bad habit of hiding the truth in Zimbabwe we are going to remain in perpetual slavery, perpetual oppression,” Mnkandla reportedly said, according his lawyer.

Close to 20 000 civilians, according to the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP), are said to have lost their lives during the Gukurahundi disturbances.

President Robert Mugabe had sent a North Korean trained army to crack down against dissent to his rule in Matabeleland and Midlands after independence, mainly targeting supporters of ZAPU.

Madhuku was arrested while facilitating a meeting at the United Church of Christ in Zimbabwe (UCCZ) in Rimbi area in Chipinge South which was organised by (PYD) and detained at Chisumbanje Police Station.

Claris’ arrest comes after the police summoned his brother and National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) chairperson Lovemore Madhuku to stand trial for allegedly organising a demonstration in 2006.

Police on 1 March served the NCA leader with the summons at Harare Magistrates’ Court, where he was attending the case of 45 social and human rights activists who have been charged with treason to appear in court to answer charges that he allegedly failed to comply with an order given by the regulatory authority.

The police allege that Madhuku unlawfully organised a demonstration on 1 November 2006 at Africa Unity Square without notifying the police. But the matter was dismissed by Harare Magistrate Archie Wochiunga.