Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
War veterans yesterday filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court seeking the arrest of zanu-pf deputy youth leader Cde Kudzanayi Chipanga if his group threatens or disturbs the former freedom fighters’ special general meeting that has been rescheduled for Monday in Ha- rare.
In the same application, the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) is seeking an order barring the police from intimidating, assaulting or using tearsmoke against its members.
Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo and Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri were cited as respondents in their official capacities, while Chipanga was listed in his personal capacity in the urgent chamber application.
Chipanga, according to the application, uttered unlawful statements at a youth meeting he addressed on Wednesday and the war veterans want him arrested for contempt of court if he continues with his threats or disrupts the planned meeting.
The application was filed by war veterans’ lawyers Mr Charles Nyika and Mr Tawanda Kanengoni of Nyika Kanengoni and Partners.
The lawyers argued that ZNLWVA was not a political party and that their gathering was a mere private and internal meeting that was not open for the general public, hence there was no need for police clearance.
In a founding affidavit deposed by ZNLWVA deputy chairman Cde Headman Moyo, the war veterans argued that the police actions were wrong in disrupting their meeting on Thursday.
“Zimbabwe Republic Police elements throughout the country have intercepted, stopped and detained applicant’s members who were coming to Harare for the special general meeting,” he said.
“In Harare, ZRP elements acting on the orders of the respondents, assaulted applicant’s members who were proceeding to the venue of the meeting with a variety of weapons, including batons, tearsmoke and chemical sprays, amongst other weapons.”
He argued that the police were biased against them because Chipanga had the previous day been allowed to address his group of youths.
“Third respondent (Chipanga) utterances are wrongful and unlawful and warrant that he be arrested and prosecuted.”
The war veterans said they only informed the police of the intended meeting out of courtesy, but were shocked to see armed police officers coming to assault them.
Some war veterans, it is reported, had travelled from as far as Chirundu, Beitbridge, Binga, Mutare, Chiredzi and other places and were now stranded in Harare as they could not go back home and come back on Monday for the rescheduled meeting.
The matter was still to be set down for hearing at the High Court.