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Opposition Leader Detained In Notorious Harare Jail

Police in Zimbabwe today arrested opposition leader, Arthur Mutambara, leader of a faction of the movement for democratic change that broke away from the main party in 2005. The two factions reconciled earlier this year. The arrest comes a few weeks before the June 27th presidential run-off.

Harrison Nkomo, the lawyer for Mutambara told VOA’s Akwei Thompson that the opposition leader has been detained in a police station in Harare. He said Mutambara has been charged for “ doing two things that did not sit very well with the state. “Firstly, they said he committed the crime of contempt of court and secondly, he published falsehoods which are prejudicial to the state.”

Nkomo was referring to an article published in the April 2oth issue of the independent newspaper, “The Standard”.

He said the arrest was political motivated and that the timing suggests that the state delayed the arrest “ so that they could push for their own agenda.”

Nkomo said Mutambara is “ok” health-wise, but very frustrated about the arrest and the fact that he’s been detained in one of the most notorious police stations in Zimbabwe which the constitutional court has ruled is unsuitable for human habitation.