Patson Dzamara arrested in mid-night raid

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Police late last night tried to disperse young protesters camped in Harare’s Africa Unity Square and pushing for President Robert Mugabe’s resignation for misrule and subsequently arrested Patson, younger brother to disappeared journalistcumactivist, Itai Dzamara, according to a protest security alert.

Police spokespersons, Charity Charamba and Paul Nyathi, could not be reached on their phones. “At exactly 2330h 3 ZRP (Zimbabwe Republic Police) officers tried to disperse us and we told them that they had no constitutional right to (do so). After 20 minutes of a heated argument…the police officers walked away,” said Linda Masarira, the occupation coordinator. That, however was not the end of the drama as, at midnight, two female strangers wearing black striped hats approached them and pretended to be asking for directions, claiming they were coming from rural Murewa

 

Patson-DzamaraAfter being told off, Masarira added, the women walked away and were joined by two men. “I alerted the guys (protesters) that something sinister was happening,” said Masarira. The women came back running screaming that they were being attacked by thieves, and the three police officers emerged from the dark. They apprehended Patson and another activist, Makomborero Haruzivishe, accusing them of being the thieves that tried to rob the women who had, however, disappeared into the dark.

After being told off, Masarira added, the women walked away and were joined by two men. “I alerted the guys (protesters) that something sinister was happening,” said Masarira. The women came back running screaming that they were being attacked by thieves, and the three police officers emerged from the dark. They apprehended Patson and another activist, Makomborero Haruzivishe, accusing them of being the thieves that tried to rob the women who had, however, disappeared into the dark.

Masarira told Nehanda Radio that a plain clothes gang attacked them on Saturday and the assailants wore military boots. The attackers took away their phones and several of the protesters suffered injuries. A recent study by the Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU) noted that the constitution that was adopted in 2013 had given Zimbabwean citizens space to express their anger at worsening political and economic crisis through demonstrations. It warned that the country might descend into chaos over Mugabe’s poor rule.

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