Photo by JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP via Getty Images

This June 5, 2020 picture from Harare, Zimbabwe, shows heavy police presence outside Zimbabwe's opposition party MDC- Alliance party headquarters after the party Vice President Tendai Biti asked police to allow him to access the building and clear out members of a splinter group that had previously occupied the building.

Zimbabwe Arrests Opposition Party Members After Anti-Government Demonstration

The Zimbabwean government has arrested three female opposition party members for the alleged abuse of police officers during a protest.

Zimbabwe has been under scrutiny following the recent arrest of three female opposition party members for protesting. The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance members were reportedly arrested on Monday for the alleged abuse of police officers during a protest. The protest called for the release of deputy chairman of MDC Alliance, Job Sikhala. According to police reports Joanna Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri, and Netsai Marova were charged for using foul language and obstructing police officers' duties.

Read: Zimbabwe Approves Law Which Will Criminalise Anti-Government Protests

BBC reports that Mamombe, Chimbiri and Marova were protesting outside a government building in Harare when police intervened. It is alleged that the trio then followed the police vehicle of police who were in attendance of the protest. The car that had no visible number plate and the women, according to a police statement, exchanged abusive language with the officers. According to Anadolu Agency, spokesperson for the MDC, Fadzayi Mahere, responded to the arrest to the news outlet.

"We condemn the arbitrary arrests against the MDC trio, members of the opposition and critics of President Mnangagwa's failed government. This continued violation of law and citizens' rights at a time when progressive nations are focused on fighting COVID-19 confirms that the regime has lost the battle of ideas. But the people will not stop fighting for democracy. Not even imprisonment will silence us."

The MDC then called out the government for its growing violent responses against demonstrators through Twitter. Anadolu Agency reports that according to the party lawyers, Marova, was later released without charge, while Mamombe and Chimbiri were detained overnight. The three women were previously arrested last year in May where they reported being tortured and forced to drink each others urine, this according to the BBC.

The United Nations (UN) has condemned Zimbabwe over the growing harassment of public demonstrators. Last year, Zimbabwe approved a law which deems all anti-government public demonstrations illegal. Sikhala, who was arrested on charges of spreading false information on social media, was later released on Monday.

News Brief
Photo by Ian Dickson/Redferns (via Getty Images)

New Fela Kuti Reissues & Box Set Are Coming This Year

Partisan Records has shared initial news of upcoming Fela 50th anniversary reissues and a new box set on the way.

Fela Kuti fans have a lot to look forward to this year as Partisan Records (home to Fela's catalog) has announced plans to release special reissues of two 1971 albums: London Scene and Live! With Ginger Baker, the classic album in which Fela and his band Africa '70 where joined by the Cream drummer.

The label has also said they plan to release the fifth installment in their ongoing Fela vinyl reissue box set series, which are handpicked by notable names in the music world. Previous volumes have been curated by Erykah Badu, Questlove, and Brian Eno.

Partisan has also shared that they will also be launching a scholarship program at Fela's alma mater, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, in London this year. The label will be sharing more information on all of that exciting Fela Kuti 2021 news soon, so keep and eye out.

In the meantime, Fela Kuti is currently leading the fan vote for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. You can head here to cast a daily ballot for the afrobeat legend. Voting is capped at one ballot per day.

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