Dzamara’s brother arrested

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HARARE – Police yesterday arrested missing activist Itai Dzamara’s brother Patson before they blocked the family and friends from holding a prayer meeting in Harare’s Africa Unity Square.

Dozens of police officers in anti-riot gear besieged the Africa Unity Square, the scene of Itai’s demonstrations and took with them Patson — who is proving to be a thorn in the flesh for the law enforcement agents.

Patson, who was briefly detained at a police sub-station along First Street immediately returned to Africa Unity Square to join other demonstrators.

Itai, a pro-democracy activist, was abducted by unidentified men more than a year ago and his family is demanding answers from the State.

Although Patson returned to Africa Unity Square, his freedom was cut short as police immediately took him again this time to Harare Central Police Station where he was detained for more than two hours.

“They arrested me but they failed to come up with any charges. At the police station, I ended up lecturing them that the Constitution gives us the right to stage peaceful demonstrations.

“I was surprised most of them don’t know this. In the past, Mugabe used police to suppress people but now the game is different as we are armed with the Constitution.

“What happened today (yesterday) was very encouraging, after I was arrested some of the protestors followed me to the police station demanding my release.

“We have resolved to continue with our protests and tomorrow (today) it’s game on.

“I will continue to do whatever I can for us to get the answers regarding all what happened to Itai.”

Outspoken preacher Ancelimo Magaya, who was supposed to give a prayer after the protest, told the police that they were inviting a curse from God by blocking people from demonstrating against abductions.

“The liberators are now the oppressor, what happened today (yesterday) was very disturbing,” he said.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights  says government must take steps to ensure that Itai and other missing activists are located and released immediately in accordance with the requirements of international law.

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