ZCTU boss Peter Mutasa finally arrested, charged with subversion

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By Anna Chibamu

ZIMBABWE Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president, Peter Mutasa was finally arrested Friday following nearly two weeks of evading arrest by police.

His lawyer, Alec Muchadehama confirmed his client handed himself to police CID Law and Order division Friday afternoon.

This is after he went into hiding since the deadly shutdown 14 January last week. 

Mutasa was immediately charged and detained for allegedly subverting a constitutional government or inciting public violence.

“A warned and cautioned statement was recorded from him and thereafter he was detained at the police station. However, police have indicated that he will go to court this Saturday,” Muchadehama said.

Police say the firebrand trade union leader, together with Harare cleric and activist Evan Mawarire (now in custody), recorded and circulated on social media, a video calling on Zimbabweans to go on a three-day stay away last week.

The call for a job boycott was in protest over government’s failure to turn around the country’s economic fortunes as well as the hiking of fuel prices.

The stay away turned chaotic as angry citizens barricaded roads with burning tyres, damaged vehicles and looted businesses.

There were also scenes of mob invasions on police stations.

Mawarire’s High Court bail application was turned down as Zimbabwean courts maintained a tough stance on alleged instigators and perpetrators of the violent job boycott.

ZCTU secretary general Japhet Moyo was arrested this week and detained.

His bail application will be heard in the High Court this coming Monday.

The crackdown on those who allegedly masterminded the alleged violent acts of last week also targeted four opposition MDC MPs who also face charges of subversion.