Police Stop MDC Alliance Clean-Up Exercise In Bulawayo

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

POLICE on Sunday dispersed and threatened with arrests, dozens of MDC Alliance supporters who were conducting a clean-up exercise in the city’s Magwegwe high density suburb.

Party provincial spokesperson Swethern Chirowodza told Sunday the clean-up campaign ended prematurely after the Officer in Charge of Magwegwe police station accused the opposition supporters of attempts to camouflage a protest with a cleaning exercise.

Police threatened to use force if the cleaners did not heed their orders to disperse immediately.

Chirowodza however said a similar clean-up campaign went on well in Nkulumani and Emganwini suburbs.

“We had a successful clean up in Bulawayo East. There was no incident,” he said.

“It was only in Magwegwe that a police officer called our Tsvaira Zimbabwe programme a protest.

“This makes us believe that he (officer in charge) is overzealous and ignorant of what constitutes rights under the Zimbabwe Constitution.”

It is however not the first time police have moved to block some opposition supporters from conducting clean up programmes in the recent past.

Earlier this month, police arrested and detained Jacob Ngarivhume, the leader of opposition Transform Zimbabwe political party and the convenor of the foiled #31JulyMovement, for allegedly conducting a clean-up campaign in Harare’s Mbare suburb without first seeking police clearance.

Ngarivhume was arrested together with Thabani Ncube, also of #31JulyMovement and two unidentified drivers and detained at Matapi Police Station for close to two hours.

They were arrested while on a widely publicised clean-up exercise conducted in Mbare, widely seen as the most dirt ridden township in the city.

Last week, police in Chivhu also stopped MDC Alliance supporters from conducting a clean-up campaign in the town.

Police insisted the exercise could only take place on the first Friday of every month as proclaimed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.