NINE Masvingo residents were on Tuesday arrested and detained by police after they had staged a demonstration in the city protesting over poor service delivery and challenging levies imposed by council on informal traders operating close to the railway station.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) senior project officer for communications and information, Kumbirai Mafunda, said those arrested were affiliated to the Masvingo Residents and Ratepayers’ Trust.
Mafunda said they were detained overnight at Masvingo Central Police Station after being arrested for allegedly attempting to incite public violence through their demonstration.
“The police intercepted and arrested the residents, who are affiliated to the Masvingo Residents and Ratepayers’ Trust, as they led other residents in challenging the levies imposed by the Masvingo City Council,” he said.
Mafunda said council recently imposed levies of $2 per day instead of an affordable trading levy of $1 per day for informal market traders operating close to the railway station.
The nine residents are being represented by Phillip Shumba of Mutendi and Shumba Legal Practitioners, a member of ZLHR.
Acting Masvingo provincial police spokesperson, Assistant Inspector Nkululeko Nduna said he had not yet received the report of the residents’ arrest.