1893 Mthwakazi Restoration Movement condemns arrests of Journalists and human rights activists

1893 Mthwakazi Restoration Movement condemns arrests of Journalists and human rights activists
Published: 26 March 2019 (185 Views)
In recent news, 1893MRM learnt with shock, the arrest of the owner and founder of Cite, Zenzele Ndebele as well as colleagues in his company, that included Lulu Brenda Harris and Sautsani Ali. Others that had been arrested on March 21st 2019 and alongside Zenzele were Reverend Useni Sibanda, Dumisani Nkomo of 'Habakuk Trust', and Dumisani Ngwenya of the church-based NGO 'Grace to Heal.'

The latter was soon to be released without charge which then left Zenzele Ndebele being the one taken into custody and arrested for alleged possession of an offensive weapon at a public gathering. The arrests happened in Bulawayo where the former accused had intended to attend a joint civic society organizations group meeting with the country's President Emmerson Mnangagwa. The charges that where to be laid upon Zenzele Ndebele where that he was found in possession of a dangerous weapon - an empty tear gas canister.

We do remember though that it is not so long ago that during the month of January 2019, Zimbabwe's police force and army were dispersed throughout the country to neutralize what the government determined would be efforts to topple the current country's Presidency through civil and public arrests. It is during that deployment of the police and army throughout Zimbabwe that the army and police themselves armed with assault rifles and various other guns and weapons meant for silencing would be protests infact eventually began to indiscriminately fire live loaded tear gas canisters at members of the public. So many of those tear gas canisters where thrown and discharged on civilians around the country that even today the empty shells of the canisters are still scattered in suburbs where children are picking them up and using them as toys. The army and police did not do any sweeps to clear the streets and grounds where they were throwing and shooting all those loaded tear gas canisters and guns at innocent civilians.

To then realise that they are now rounding up people and charging them for possession of empty tear gas canister shells and possible bullet cartridges that they themselves left everywhere in the streets while they were shooting at people all over the country is very disturbing to say the least – it is in itself adding injury to an insult and indeed a continued violation against human rights as perpetrated by Zimbabwe's government security services, the police, the army and the secret police (CIO).

We are now glad that a sane Judge in Bulawayo Magistrate Franklin Mkhwananzi actually ridiculed the whole exercise by the police and released Ndebele free of any charges on March 22nd 2019. In dismissing the charges against Ndebele the Magistrate was quoted by those in attendance at the hearings, which included members of 1893MRM, as saying "It beats logic that a used canister and an empty cartridge could be defined as dangerous weapons if weapons at all."

Zenzele Ndebele is also well known Matebeleland reporter who has done very effective reporting and investigations on the Gukurahundi genocide perpetrators against the Mthwakazi nation by Zimbabwe's government and Ndebele has produced Documentaries were he interviewed victims of Gukurahundi.

While President Mnangagwa continues to appear on television and public gatherings encouraging Zimbabweans and Mthwakazi people to speak freely about Gukurahundi, his public and secret police are secretly following up and targeting people who dare to voice Gukurahundi concerns.

As 1893MRM we condemn Zimbabwean government's arbitrary arrests of the innocent and we condemn the continued silencing of voices of reason within Mthwakazi communities. We also call upon all people of Mthwakazi to join hands in fighting our common enemies from whichever platform or part of the country or world they may come. Together we stand – seperated we fall.

We have also learnt that CITE offices had equipment and other assets taken by the Zimbabwe police in their witch-hunt exercise of Zenzele Ndebele's offices and we call upon such violations to be ceased and for confiscated assets of CITE to be returned to its rightful law abiding citizens.

1893 Mthwakazi Restoration Movement can be reached at: 1893matebelelandrestoration@gmail.com Website: www.1893mrm.org

- Mthwakazi Restoration

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