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Second war vets leader seized in Zim - lawyers

28 July 2016, 12:41

Harare - Rights lawyers in Zimbabwe said on Thursday that a second war veteran had been taken in by the authorities, as President Robert Mugabe continued with his crackdown.

Victor Matemadanda, the secretary general of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association, was picked up from his home in Gokwe by "five individuals" who said they were taking him to a police station in Harare, said the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.

It was not immediately clear if these were police officers. ZLHR said that Matemadanda's current whereabouts were unclear. Gokwe is nearly 350km from Harare.

The lawyers also said they had information that war veterans spokesperson Douglas Mahiya, who was arrested on Wednesday, faced two charges. One is subverting a constitutional government, the same charge that protest pastor Evan Mawarire faced in court earlier this month. A magistrate later ruled that he had been illegally charged and the #ThisFlag founder was allowed to go free.

Mahiya faces an alternative charge of insulting the office of the president, ZLHR said.

Mugabe, 92, has been angered by a statement authored by war veterans last week in which they said he was "dictatorial", and that they would no longer support him.

The long-time president said on Wednesday that the authors of the communique would be pursued, and ominously referred to the treatment his forces gave "rebels" during the liberation war. Mugabe said the rebels were kept underground.

- News 24


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