BULAWAYO – A picture of opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) National Chairperson Thabitha Khumalo and the party’s Bulawayo Provincial Women’s Chairperson Luba Masotsha detained inside Bulawayo Central Police Station has emerged.
Eight MDC officials in Bulawayo were arrested on Saturday while mobilising supporters for the second phase of anti-government protests set for the city on Monday.
Alongside Khumalo and Masotsha, also arrested was MDC Bulawayo Provincial Organising Secretary, Helen Mpofu, Elliot Mujeri, Tinashe Matimbura, Meliqiniso Sithole, Shelton Tembo and an unidentified female MDC member who were arrested by police details in Tshabalala.
After police on Friday violently dispersed protesters in Harare, MDC leader Nelson Chamisa later told reporters; “Today we didn’t want to risk people’s lives by continuing to be confrontational because if we had chosen to be confrontational there will be blood in the streets.
“We will continue to mobilise but what you are going to see is a mutation of our strategy because when you are facing a confrontational regime you must also use tactics that are going to be above them,” Chamisa said, without elaborating.
Police said in a statement that 91 people were arrested for various offences. “The police is firm on the ground to ensure that law and order is maintained,” the statement read.
Outside the court that rejected the appeal to lift the ban on protesting, MDC Vice President Tendai Biti said: “The constitution guarantees the right to demonstration … yet this fascist regime has denied and proscribed this right.”
“We have jumped from the frying pan into the fire after the (anti-Mugabe) coup of November 2017… We don’t accept the conduct of this regime, the conduct of Mr Mnangagwa.”