PARLIAMENT security on Thursday detained three members of the Democracy Advocate Initiative Trust (DAI) who had gone to hand over a petition calling on President Robert Mugabe to step down for failing to act in the face of massive job losses in the country.
The three, Shepherd Chidhakwa, DAI founder and chairperson, Irvin Takavada and Tinayi Mikiwa were detained from 12 noon up to 1500 hrs inside the Parliament building.
“They kidnapped and quizzed us on who had sent us before taking some photographs of us which they kept,” said Chidhakwa.
“They also took our IDs and photocopied them.”
Chidhakwa said they were rescued by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) who dispatched one of their attorneys.
“The environment was so tense that we could not even make any phone call, but one of us managed to secretly send a text message to the ZLHR and immediately Kudzai Kadzere came to our rescue,” he said.
“We are now going to file a kidnapping report with the police because our rights were violated. It is our right to petition the President and we should not have been interrogated by the Parliament security.”
In the petition, DAI said Parliament should impeach Mugabe for failing to account for the $3.5 billion as exhibited by a recent audit by the comptroller and auditor general.
They also said Mugabe should be fired for failing to use his powers to invoke the July 17 labour judgment which was passed by the Supreme Court. The ruling allows firms to fire workers on three months’ notice without benefits.
As a result of the Supreme Court ruling, over 8 000 workers have lost their jobs.