MP Mamombe, MDC Youths In Demo Demanding Police Chief Matanga’s Resignation

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By Mary Taruvinga

MDC Alliance Harare West MP Joanna Mamombe and scores of party youths Thursday staged a flash demonstration outside the Harare Magistrates’ Courts demanding the release of activist Makomborero Haruzivishe.

Haruzivishe was arrested at gunpoint last week and was in court Thursday seeking kidnapping charges raised against him to be dropped.

During the flash demonstration, Mamombe and the other MDC Alliance members also demanded the immediate resignation of Police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga.

They accused Matanga of ordering police officers to be brutal against opposition members.

Makomborero’s lawyer, Obey Shava said his client was arrested at gunpoint by police officers in civilian clothes.

Mamombe said such a cowardly act was an embarrassment.

“The police brutality by the state manifests into unprecedented illegal detentions, trumped up charges, pre-trial detentions, abductions and harassment. We condemn these cowardly acts which violate our fundamental rights, the Constitution as well as regional and continental conventions,” she said.

“We are worried that this weaponisation of the law by the police and the growing persecution of activists has a pernicious and gnawing effect on our nascent democracy,” she said before calling for Matanga to immediately step down.

The party activists also lobbied parliamentarians, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission to institute an investigation into the illegal conduct of Matanga and other police officers.

“We are not afraid. We will not be neutral in the face of brutality and weaponisation of the law. We will not stand aside while our country is turned into a Banana Republic,” added Mamombe.

Meanwhile, Haruzivishe remains in custody awaiting cancellation of his three warrant of arrests and bail application.

In a different matter, the former Local Government Minister, Ignatius Chombo will spend another night in remand prison after his bail ruling was postponed to this Friday.

Harare magistrate Stanford Mambanje had promised to hand down his judgment Thursday, but said he has not finished writing it and remanded Chombo to remain in custody until Friday.

The former minister was arrested Monday and is facing abuse of public office charges after he allegedly looted state land and converted it into personal residential stands.