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Madhuku in court today

Ray Matikinye

POLICE in Harare on Wednesday used batons to break up a demonstration by scores of pro-democracy activists, arresting three protesters including National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) chairman Lovemore Madhuku. <

Human rights lawyer Alec Muchadehama last night said Madhuku and two other NCA members were still in police custody at Harare Central police station.

While Madhuku has been charged for contravening Section 24 of the Public Order and Security Act (Posa), the other two NCA members, Marko Shoko and Shingirayi Nyakudya, are yet to be charged, their lawyer said

“Police have promised to bring Madhuku to court tomorrow (today) on charges of failure to give prior notice of the demonstration, but they have yet to prefer charges against the other two,” Muchadehama said.

At least 250 members of the NCA were rounded up by police in Africa Unity Square demonstrating for a new constitution.

Ernest Mudzengi of the NCA said Madhuku was separated from the rest of the crowd and bundled into a police vehicle before the police turned on the rest of the demonstrators.

“They beat the demonstrators who remained seated,” Mudzengi claimed.

He said Shoko and Nyakudya were arrested on allegations that they had stoned a police vehicle. The NCA has been at the forefront of pressing for a new constitution and has often paraded in the streets to press home demands for a replacement of the 26-year-old Lancaster House Constitution that has been amended several times.

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