Harare: Twenty-six fans were arrested for carrying banners and political messages during the World Cup match between Zimbabwe and Pakistan, lawyers and police said on Wednesday.[an error occurred while processing this directive]
The group, which according to lawyer Kucaca Phulu included a minor, were arrested during Tuesday's match at the Queens Sports Club (QSC) in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second city. A police spokesman confirmed the arrests, but was unable to give the numbers of the people picked. "Here we have a social event where people have different political orientation and some want to take advantage of such a situation and that might provoke others into animosity," police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said.
"If they want rallies they can notify the police and that is where they can display banners as big as they want." Tuesday's arrests bring to 68 the numbers arrested at World Cup matches in this city in less than a week.Some 42 anti-government protestors were arrested at the game between Zimbabwe and the Netherlands on Friday for displaying a banner reading "Mugabe equals Hitler."Zimbabwe players Andy Flower and Henry Olonga also protested against the Robert Mugabe government by wearing black arm bands during Zimbabwe's first match against Namibia in Harare.Copyright AFP 2001