Baton-wielding Police Cordon Off Chitungwiza Courts

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By Leopold Munhende

BATON-wielding police officers have cordoned off Chitungwiza Magistrates’ Courts where some 12 MDC youths and activists arrested Saturday are expected to appear for alleged violence in the dormitory town.

Three trucks loaded with anti-riot police officers with police dogs have barricaded the courts.

Senior ranking officers from the chief inspector to superintendent are on the ground directing operations.

Everyone is being searched twice before being questioned to their purpose of visit.

The police officers are dismissing those they feel have matters that can be addressed on another day.

Relatives of the 12 arrested MDC members and party officials have also been turned away. Journalists have also been barred from entering the courts with the police telling them they had nothing to do with the trial.

Efforts by police spokesperson Paul Nyathi to assist were dismissed by those on the ground.

“The lawyers are inside and so are the accused, your presence will not add value here. Call our officer commanding Harare province, not the spokesperson. We are working on their orders,” said one chief inspector who refused to be identified.

The case which was expected to have kicked off at 8.30am was yet to start by midday.