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The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights Communications officer Kumbirai Mafunda has said police in Harare have arrested three union leaders after assaulting and blocking some peaceful protesters who staged a demonstration against the government’s failure to remunerate civil servants.
“Anti-riot police officers on Monday 04 January 2016 arrested Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (RTUZ) leaders Obert Masaraure, Robson Chere and Pride Mukono and detained them at Harare Central Police Station after breaking up an anti-government protest held in the capital over failure and delays to remunerate civil servants and in solidarity with striking nurses and doctors at some government run hospitals,” he said.
“The protesters had marched from Market Square and were scheduled to present their petition to Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa and Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira’s offices. However, police officers armed with truncheons blocked them from serving their petition after suppressing their demonstration near Parliament Building, even though the organisers had notified the Zimbabwe Republic Police about their protest.”
He said police also turned down a request by Gift Mtisi of Musendekwa Mtisi Legal Practitioners, a member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, who is representing Masaraure, the RTUZ President, Chere, the RTUZ Secretary-General and Mukono, the RTUZ Programmes Officer, that the trio be referred to hospital for treatment as they had sustained some injuries from the police assault.
“Apart from Masaraure some protesters including Lynette Mudehwe and Rutendo Kawadza of the Zimbabwe Activists Association also sustained injuries from the police assault and Kawadza had to be admitted at a local medical facility before being discharged,” he said. By Stephen Jakes- Source-bulawayo24
photo-newsday-Rural Teachers Association For Zimbabwe (RTUZ) protesters -photo-by Shepherd Tozvireva