The big round-up of "vagrants" in Southern Rhodesia continued Oct. 24. In Bulawayo 54 people?
The big round-up of "vagrants" in Southern Rhodesia continued Oct. 24. In Bulawayo 54 people were arrested in the first two days of Operation Dragnet, and a further 300 were detained in the African quarters of Salisbury and Gwelo.
Many so-called vagrants were said to have fled from the cities to the country before the round-up began. Those who were caught in Bulawayo were taken before a temporary magistrate's court, where hearings were secret, and many were afterwards taken to a hastily erected detention camp. Filming there was forbidden.
The round-up took place peacefully in the African townships, which are heavily garrisoned with troops. With the Bulawayo police were a number of African police reservists. A local newspaper, while criticizing the need for the round-up, said good humour was the keynote of the sweeps, and many Africans seemed grateful for the new measures.
Under the hastily created Vagrancy Act people over 16 can be arrested without warrant if they cannot show that they have employment or means of subsistence. Detainees can be held for up to 3 years in "re-establishment centres".