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Security forces storm NGO offices in Masvingo, arrest 2 workers
Community Tolerance Reconciliation and Development (COTRAD)

February 11, 2013

Masvingo today witnessed a bizarre incident as the crackdown on NGOs continues unabated. Masvingo Central police officers stormed the National Association of Non Governmental Organization (NANGO SOUTHERN REGION) offices and arrested Benias Tirivaviri the Regional Coordinator and also terrorized COTRAD program officers who were in attendance. COTRAD shares office space with NANGO Southern Region. There were no proper charges levelled against the 2 people who were arrested and detained at Masvingo Central for nearly three hours. Amongst the arrested is Zivanai Muzorodzi the COTRAD Program Officer who was arrested in connection with the voter registration exercise being undertaken by the COTRAD. In the same vein the police officers besieged the COTRAD office looking for receipts of registered voters as they were alleging that COTRAD was assisting young people to register to vote such that they can participate in the forthcoming elections. It appears to be part of an escalating campaign by the uniformed forces to crush groups involved in the pro-democracy movement.

COTRAD codemns the continued of persecution NGOs amidst the claim for security sector reforms as the country continues to prepare for general elections expected some time this year.

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