In a grim precursor to the credibility of the impending March 26 by-elections, two Citizens for Change Coalition (CCC) aspiring candidates were on Monday arrested by Mutare police while conducting a door-to-door campaign in the eastern border town.
Private media reports indicate that aspiring wards 5 and 4 councillors Simon Mapuwire and Edson Kalulu, who are both aligned to the Nelson Chamisa-led CCC, were arrested in Sakubva high-density suburb while conducting door-to-door pre-electoral campaigns in their wards.
They are among the seven councillors who were recalled last year by the MDC Alliance led by Douglas Mwonzora.
CCC Manicaland spokesperson David Panganai confirmed the arrests.
“Police arrested our members claiming they were not informed about the door-to-door campaign.
They were detained at Chisamba Police Station in Sakubva for several hours. They were only released at around 6pm without charge,” he said.
Acting Manicaland police spokesperson assistant Inspector Wiseman Chinyoka said he had not received the report.
In an unrelated case, CCC vice-presidents Tendai Biti and Lynnette Karenyi-Kore were yesterday further remanded by a Harare magistrate in a case where they face a charge of violating COVID-19 regulations.
Biti and Karenyi-Kore are being charged alongside deputy secretary-general David Chimhini, secretary for mobilisation and women affairs Vongai Tome, deputy secretary for corporate affairs Lovemore Chinoputsa and Gladys Hlatywayo, who is the secretary for international affairs.
The CCC members, who are represented by Alec Muchadehama, had filed an application for exception to the charges, but magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti-Guwuriro dismissed it saying their application for review was not yet ready.
Allegations were that on June 5, 2020, police received information that the then MDC Alliance leaders were gathered outside Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House in Harare in contravention of Statutory Instrument 83 of 2020, which prohibited gatherings of more than 50 people.
It was alleged that they were planning to stage an unsanctioned demonstration.
The State alleges that police reacted swiftly and went to the corner of Nelson Mandela Avenue and Angwa Street, where a number of the opposition party supporters were already gathered, leading to their arrest.