Police have arrested Arnold Tsunga, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) parliamentary candidate for Dangamvura- Chikanga and an award-winning human rights advocate, lawyers said.
“Mutare police have arrested Tsunga, together with his campaign team after accusing them of embarking on an unlawful procession in the high-density suburb,” said Kumbirai Mafunda, spokesman for the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).
Mafunda said Tsunga and his team were initially detained at Dangamvura but efforts were underway on Friday night to transfer them to Mutare Central Police Station.
Mafunda said Tsunga was represented by human rights lawyers Tinoziva Bere of Bere Brothers Legal Practioners and Passmore Nyakureba of Maunga Maanda and Associates Legal Practioners.
Tsunga is former director of the Africa Regional Programme of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and was awarded the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders in 2006.
He is one of the two MDC-T candidates vying for the Dangamvura-Chikanga seat, along with Giles Mutsekwa.
In an election alert, ZLHR said the police were stepping up a blitz against the MDC-T after they also banned a scheduled rally to have been addressed on Saturday by Harare South candidate Jacob Mafume in Southlea.
In a letter to Mafume’s agent, Darren Burutu, police officer commanding Mbare district, Supt B. Ncube said the rally could not go ahead as Mafume did not have authority from the holder of the offer letter for the seized farm in which Southlea is located.
“The police ban of the campaign rally prompted Mafume’s lawyers, Tawanda Zhuwarara and Belinda Chinowawa of ZLHR to file an ex-parte appeal at Harare Magistrates (Civil) Court seeking to overturn the police interdict as the police acted unlawfully in prohibiting the campaign meeting,” Mafunda said.
The lawyers argued that the reasons for the ban given by Ncube were not permissible under the law. They said there was no provision under the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) that a convenor of a political party rally should get permission from the holder of an offer letter for an area.


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