Police Beat up, Arrest 16 ‘Mushikashika’ Operators

Zimbabwe police on Tuesday beat up and arrested 16 ruling party members, who gathered at the district administrator’s office where they protested over the barring of small vehicles, commonly known as mushikashika, from operating in the town.

Lenny Samhembere, one of the youth leaders who initially took to his heels when a police crack unit descended on the protesters, said they are not happy about being barred from operating in the town.

“The sixteen of us are currently being interrogated at Kadoma Law and Order department the sixteen of us. We might appear in court tomorrow morning. I handed over myself to the police when I was told that they were looking for me.”

Zanu PF communications director, Tafadzwa Mugwadi, said the arrest of Zanu PF members showed that the police are not selectively applying the law.

“The arrest of Zanu PF members by the police put to rest notions that our police force is biased towards the ruling party like what some other opposition parties want us to believe. Zanu PF members like any other citizen should observe laws of the country,” said Mugwadi.

But Witness Dube, spokesperson of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, said police are merely doing a “catch and release” game as they are set to be released without going to trial.

“That’s child’s play. It’s that familiar catch and release game soon they will be sent home without facing any charges,” said Dube.

District Administrator, Emmanuel Mhlanga, was unreachable for comment.

Police national spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi refused to comment saying he is in a very important meeting. “Phone me later. I’m in a meeting.”

A video, whose source could not be verified, is circulating on social media showing at least two women with bloodied faces following skirmishes with the police.

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