Archive for the ‘police brutality’ Category

JOHANNESBURG – To show how the party led
by President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe uses
brute force against its opponents, Elton
Mangoma , a cabinet minister in the country ‘s
troubled power -sharing government, rolled up
a pant leg during a recent interview at his
home to reveal scars from a 2007 police
beating that he said shattered his kneecap.
” If South Africa, the African Union and the
international community fold their arms , then
Zimbabwe can descend into chaos, ” warned
Mr . Mangoma , a leader in the Movement for
Democratic Change, or M. D . C . , the party that
fought Mr . Mugabe ‘s rule for a decade before
regional leaders pressured it into governing
with him for the past two years .
On Thursday , the police came again for Mr .
Mangoma , the minister of energy and power
development, who now stands accused of
criminal abuse of office in a deal to procure
fuel – charges he denied through his lawyer.
Also on Thursday , Zimbabwe’s Supreme Court –
viewed by many as partial to Mr . Mugabe, 87 –
invalidated the 2008 election of a speaker of
Parliament from the Movement for Democratic
Change.
The day ‘s events provided yet more evidence of
Zimbabwe’s rapidly deteriorating political
situation .
” The fact of the matter is that Zimbabwe is in a
crisis ,” Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai ,
leader of the Movement for Democratic
Change, said in a statement on Thursday .
Mr . Tsvangirai , who in March 2007 was badly
beaten at the same police station where Mr .
Mangoma said he was beaten , cited signs of
what he called a campaign by Mr . Mugabe’ s
party, ZANU-PF , to ” promote chaos and fear in
the country ” : 73 meetings of the M. D . C .
banned or disrupted by the police in recent
weeks; assaults on Mr . Tsvangirai ‘s supporters
in the slums of the capital, Harare , and in the
countryside; a propaganda onslaught against
him and his party in the state- controlled media ;
and the arrest and jailing of M. D. C . leaders and
activists opposed to Mr . Mugabe ‘s 31 -year rule.
Mr . Tsvangirai , who won more votes than Mr .
Mugabe in a March 2008 general election but
withdrew before a June runoff after widespread
attacks on his supporters , contended that
members of his party were being hounded by a
police force and criminal justice system
controlled by Mr . Mugabe .
” But ZANU-PF cadres and securocrats who
murdered people in the run-up to the 27 June
election are roaming free, ” Mr . Tsvangirai said .
He said Mr . Mangoma and six activists accused
of treason after watching videos of the
uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia were ” innocent
victims of a barbaric and senseless
dictatorship . “
Mr . Mugabe ‘s supporters said that the activists
were plotting to overthrow him. Jonathan
Moyo, a member of ZANU- PF ‘s Politburo , wrote
in the Feb . 27 Sunday Mail , a state-controlled
newspaper, that with the uprisings in North
Africa, ” no doubt vigilance has become the
order of the day all around .
” Only God knows why these hopeless copycats,
whose death wish is to be arrested at the
Harare Gardens and be charged with treason in
accordance with the rule of law they love
preaching about, honestly think they can do an
Egypt or Libya in Zimbabwe,” Mr . Moyo wrote.
ZANU-PF ‘ s crackdown seems driven by anxiety
about revolutions against autocratic rulers
sweeping North Africa and the Middle East , as
well as by the party’ s own push for elections
this year – elections that leaders of the
Movement for Democratic Change have warned
could lead to another violent and discredited
election .
In interviews in recent days , spokesmen for
both Mr . Mugabe and his party have said that
the elections must happen this year .
But South Africa, tasked by regional leaders
with brokering Zimbabwe’ s power- sharing deal ,
is pushing back against Mr . Mugabe ‘s rush to
the polls with unusual vigor that marks a
surprising break with its long and much
criticized ” quiet diplomacy ” in responding to its
neighbor ‘ s decade -long economic and political
decline.
In a statement on March 1 , Marius Fransman ,
the deputy minister in South Africa’s
Department of International Relations and
Cooperation, said South Africa and the region
took the position that any election held before
Zimbabweans adopted a new constitution
through a referendum would violate the power –
sharing agreement .
Told that ZANU-PF officials had said there
would be an election this year , Lindiwe Zulu , a
special adviser to South Africa’s president ,
Jacob Zuma , said in a recent interview that
pulling one off that soon would take a miracle .
And on a recent visit to Zimbabwe, Ms. Zulu
said , Mr . Zuma ‘s team plainly voiced concern
about a recurrence of violence and
intimidation .
” If they are going to have an election by
October , they would have to do a 360-degree
turnaround at high speed, ” she said .
Even more forceful comments came from
South Africa’ s deputy president , Kgalema
Motlanthe, who acknowledged the harsh
realities confronting his own country , where
more than a third of working – age people are
jobless and often resent the estimated two
million Zimbabweans who have settled here to
escape their devastated homeland .
Mr . Motlanthe called for the next Zimbabwean
elections to be a watershed in the country ‘s
history, free of violence and observed by
international monitors from the region and
Europe, his spokesman , Thabo Masebe,
confirmed .
” It is the will of the Zimbabwean people which
must determine the future of Zimbabwe as a
country , and it is in our interest as a country
that indeed we proceed in that direction ,” Mr .
Motlanthe said last week. ” Because if we fail
and Zimbabwe implodes , literally the border
between Zimbabwe will disappear and we will
sit with all the problems. “

By CELIA W . DUGGER
Published: March 11 , 2011
http://www.NYTimes.com

Harare , Zimbabwe (CNN) — A court in
Zimbabwe ruled Monday that six of 45 political
and civil society activists arrested last month on
charges of plotting to topple President Robert
Mugabe in a Tunisian-Egyptian style uprising
face a trial on treason charges and could be
executed if convicted .
” Merely listening to treasonous utterances is not
criminal ,” said Harare Magistrate Munamato
Mutevedzi as he freed 39 of the 45 activists who
have been detained since February 19 .
He said the six others must face trial because
they had organized and spoken at the meeting .
Mutevedzi ordered the six social and human
rights activists held , including former Movement
for Democratic Change Member of Parliament
Munyaradzi Gwisai .
They now await a trial date at the High Court on
treason charges, which carry the death sentence
in Zimbabwe.
” You can apply for bail at the High Court since
the offense you are facing is a scheduled
offense which cannot be entertained by a
magistrate court ,” said Mutevedzi, referring to
the six.
Immediately after the ruling , the activists ‘
attorney Charles Kwaramba told the court that
his clients were being detained in solitary
confinement while the women were being
forced to work at the prison .
” We seriously object to this . They are still
innocent and there is no need to punish them , “
said Kwaramba . ” Their right of liberty is being
seriously infringed . That amounts to slavery . It
must not be allowed in a democratic society . “
Last week , the United States expressed concern
about their arrests and allegations by their
lawyer that some of them were tortured.
The activists were arrested and charged with
treason after they were caught watching footage
of the protests that led to the ouster of Tunisian
leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Egyptian
President Hosni Mubarak .
At least 12 of the activists were beaten with
broomsticks on their buttocks and the soles of
their feet, according to their attorneys .
Robert Mugabe, 87 , has ruled Zimbabwe since
1980 . Like Mubarak and Ben Ali, he has been
accused of rigging elections and instituting
repressive laws to tighten his grip on power .
Political observers have suggested the arrests
may be an indication that authorities are
worried that the changes sweeping across north
Africa may inspire Zimbabweans to rise up .

From Columbus S . Mavhunga , CNN
March 7 , 2011 — Updated 1429 GMT ( 2229
HKT )

Harare , Zimbabwe (CNN) — Washington has
ruled out lifting sanctions on Zimbabwean
President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle
until the regime shows a greater respect for
human rights, said a U . S . official visiting the
southern African nation Friday .
Susan Page, the deputy assistant secretary for
African affairs , said the United States was
concerned by the recent rise in ” political
violence , wanton intimidation of the public , and
partisan arrests and prosecutions . “
She applauded Mugabe ‘s statement last week
calling for an end to the violence but questioned
whether that message was filtering down to his
security forces.
” We hope President Mugabe, as head of state
and commander in chief of the armed forces,
also conveys that message to the police and
security services, ” Page said. ” The credibility of
that statement , however , ultimately will be
reflected in if or how it is honoured . “
Page said if Mugabe’ s party wants to play a
constructive role, ” it must reject the use of
violence and fear in its operations. “
Mugabe ‘s critics accuse the longtime ruler of
using violent means to hush his political
opponents, who are part of a unity government
that Mugabe wants ended .
In recent days , police in Zimbabwe have
arrested dozens of political activists, students
and trade union members for allegedly plotting
an Egyptian-style uprising . Defense attorneys
have reported torture of the detainees .
U . S . State Department Spokesman P . J . Crowley
said the activists were charged with treason and
urged Mugabe’ s government to uphold
international human rights laws and ensure due
process for those arrested.
The United States and the European Union
imposed targeted sanctions on Mugabe in 2002.
Mugabe blames those sanctions for his
country ‘ s woes — which late last year included a
90 % unemployment and an inflation rate of
231, 000,000% – – and threatened to seize all
Western -owned investments in the country
unless sanctions were lifted .
Mugabe has held power since Zimbabwe
became independent in 1980 . In 2009 , he
formed a coalition government with challenger
Morgan Tsvangirai, who was named prime
minister .
But last December , Mugabe announced he was
tired of working with the opposition party ,
which he said ” lacked ideology and policies ” and
called for an election this year .
Tsvangirai , however , has threatened to boycott
the poll if a referendum on a new constitution is
not held .

By the CNN Wire Staff
March 4 , 2011 — Updated 1855 GMT ( 0255
HKT )
CNN.com

Washington (CNN) — The United States
expressed concern Thursday about recent
arrests in Zimbabwe of political and civil society
activists and allegations by their lawyer that
some of them were tortured.
On February 19 , former Movement for
Democratic Change Member of Parliament
Munyaradzi Gwisai and 45 other labor union
and student activists ” who had gathered
peacefully to discuss recent events in Egypt “
were arrested and charged with treason , State
Department spokesman Philip J . Crowley said in
a statement .
Other political and civil society activists have
also been arrested, he said.
” Gwisai ‘ s defense attorney has reported that
several of the 46 people were tortured while in
custody, and we understand that the magistrate
has ordered physical examinations to
substantiate those claims,” he said. ” We call on
the government to provide medical attention for
those who need it and , if torture occurred , to
take immediate action to hold the perpetrators
accountable . “
A ruling on the charges’ merits is to be delivered
March 7 .
Crowley called on the government of Zimbabwe
to uphold rights spelled out under the
International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights and to ensure that those arrested are
guaranteed due process .
Zimbabwean authorities said the 46 people were
arrested and charged with treason after they
were caught watching footage of the protests
that led to the ouster of Tunisian leader Zine El
Abidine Ben Ali and Egyptian President Hosni
Mubarak .
” On 16 February they held a meeting and the
purpose of the meeting was to organize,
strategize and implement the removal of a
constitutional government of Zimbabwe by
unconstitutional means , the Tunisian-Egyptian
way ,” prosecutor Edmore Nyazamba said last
week in court .
At least 12 of the activists were beaten with
broomsticks on their buttocks and the soles of
their feet, defense attorney Alec Muchadehama
told a packed courtroom on Thursday . All 46
defendants were charged with treason, a charge
that carries a death sentence in Zimbabwe.
” If watching television footage of the uprisings
was treason, most Zimbabweans would be guilty
of it because we watch news daily,”
Muchadehama said .
Robert Mugabe, 87 , has ruled Zimbabwe since
independence in 1980 . Like Mubarak and Ben
Ali , he has been accused of rigging elections and
instituting repressive laws to tighten his grip on
power .
The arrests may be an indication that authorities
are worried that the changes sweeping across
north Africa may inspire Zimbabweans to rise
up . The opposition Movement for Democratic
Change, MDC, which is in a troubled unity
government with Mugabe’ s ZANU-PF , has called
the arrests ” an abuse of state machinery by
ZANU-PF to suppress the people’s views . “
Mugabe ‘s policies over the past decade have
been blamed for plunging the once-prosperous
country into economic crisis . Mugabe has called
for an election this year , but his political rival
and leader of the MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai, has
threatened to boycott the poll if a referendum
on a new constitution is not held .

By the CNN Wire Staff
March 4 , 2011 — Updated 0151 GMT ( 0951
HKT )

LAWYERS for 46 people facing treason charges
for allegedly plotting an Egyptian- style uprising
yesterday said that some members of the group
were tortured by police.
Magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi ordered the
suspects to be held in detention to reappear in
court on Monday , saying only the High Court
was empowered to free them on bail on treason
charges punishable by death .
He ordered that they be given medical
examinations before the hearing to verify
allegations of torture .
Defence lawyer Alec Muchadehama told the
court that 12 suspects told lawyers they were
beaten with broomsticks on their bodies,
buttocks and the soles of their feet.
They were arrested on Saturday for attending a
lecture on North African anti -government
protests.
He said others were denied medication and
access to lawyers.
State prosecutors alleged the group of labour
and social activists held the meeting to plan a
revolt against long -time President Robert
Mugabe.
The group says it was an academic study session
and denies wrongdoing.
Muchadehama told the court that delays in
bringing the group to their first court
appearance on Wednesday were illegal because
Zimbabwean law says suspects must be
arraigned within 48 hours of arrest.
Prosecutors alleged the group watched videos of
the Egyptian revolt that brought down Hosni
Mubarak after nearly three decades in power.
Prosecutors also claimed the meeting
participants took turns making speeches calling
for a revolt against Mugabe.
Muchadehama , the defence lawyer , insisted
there were no grounds for treason charges.
“ What happened in Egypt and Tunisia is that
people gathered and demonstrated and their
leaders resigned or abdicated their seats ,” he
said . “ No treason was committed in the two
countries. ”
If watching television footage of the uprisings
was treason, he said, most Zimbabweans would
be guilty of it.
But authorities loyal to Mugabe were “ so
paranoid , ” he said , that anything seen to
challenge Mugabe was termed treason and
subversion .
Prosecutors claim that former opposition
lawmaker Munyaradzi Gwisai , head of the local
branch of the International Socialist
Organization , and the other civic activists were
conducting the meeting to “ organise, strategise
and implement the removal of the constitutional
government of Zimbabwe . . . the Egyptian way . ”
Speaking from the dock , Gwisai said he believed
all citizens had the right to take grievances to
their leaders through open discussion .
Gwisai said he was repeatedly beaten with a
wooden plank and told to confess that he called
for Mugabe ’ s ouster. The beatings were
recorded by his interrogators , he said .
As a public figure, Mugabe should be subject to
political examination and democratic debate
even though democratic institutions in
Zimbabwe are flawed , Gwisai said .
“ Events in Egypt and Tunisia show that the basis
of legitimate power in democratic societies lies
with the people,” he said . “ Marches , singing and
protests are fundamental human rights through
which people can address those who govern
them . ”
He said studying protests elsewhere was
important for “ because people who seek change
and don’ t understand it will repeat the mistakes
of history. ” — AP.

Friday , 25 February 2011 07 : 43

Amnesty International today expressed shock
that at least 45 Zimbabwean activists have been
charged with treason and could face the death
penalty following their arrest at a lecture on the
protests in North Africa.
Mr Munyaradzi Gwisai , a former opposition
parliamentarian , and 44 social justice , trade
union and human rights activists were arrested
by police on Saturday as they were attending a
lecture entitled Revolt in Egypt and Tunisia .
What lessons can be learnt by Zimbabwe and
Africa.
“ This is a clear over-reaction by the state to an
event in which the participants were exercising
their legitimate right to freedom of expression
which the government of Zimbabwe must
guarantee under national and international law, ”
said Michelle Kagari , Amnesty International ’ s
deputy director for Africa.
Amnesty International is also alarmed by reports
that at least seven of the activists , including
Munyaradzi Gwisai , were beaten by security
agents while in custody and called on the
government to investigate the allegations.
“ The safety of detainees remains a serious
concern as the Law and Order Section at Harare
Central Police station has become notorious for
the torture and ill -treatment of activists in their
custody, ” said Michelle Kagari .
“ These persistent abuses demonstrate the need
for urgent reform of Zimbabwe’ s security sector
to bring to an end a culture of impunity for
human rights violations and partisan
enforcement of the law. ”
Defence lawyers told Amnesty International they
had been denied the opportunity to consult their
clients and they were only informed of the
charges facing the activists minutes before they
were brought before the court .
The proceedings were adjourned following
protests from the lawyers and are expected to
resume Monday .
Amnesty International is also concerned about
reports that prison officers at the Magistrates
court in Harare prevented the defence lawyers
from taking instructions from their clients before
they were transferred to Harare Remand Prison
and Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison .
“ This restriction of the right of the activists to
access their lawyer is unnecessary and throws
serious doubts on the likelihood the detainees
will receive a fair trial,” said Michelle Kagari .
“ The police continue to selectively apply the law
in favour of President Robert Mugabe’ s ZANU-
PF party . ”
Last month ZANU-PF supporters carried out
attacks against opposition supporters in
Harare ’ s suburb of Mbare , but to date , the
police have not arrested anyone.

Notes to Editors
• Mr Munyaradzi Gwisai is a former Movement
for Democratic Change parliamentarian . He is
now a law lecturer at the University of
Zimbabwe and the coordinator of the
Zimbabwean chapter of the International
Socialist Organisation
• The activists are being charged with treason
under Section 20 of the Criminal ( Codification
and Reform ) Act [ Chapter 9: 23 ] or alternatively
“ attempting to overthrow the government by
unconstitutional means under Section 22 ( 2) ( a )
( i) of the Criminal Law ( Codification and
Reform ) Act .

24 February 2011
AI Index : PRE 01 / 084/ 2011
http://www.amnesty.org

International Socialist Organisation ( ISO)
general coordinator Munyaradzi Gwisai , accused
alongside 45 others of allegedly plotting an
Egyptian-style uprising in Zimbabwe, on
Thursday said they were tortured by police who
wanted them to confess to treason.
Magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi ordered the
accused to remain in detention and return on
Monday, saying only a higher court was
empowered to free them on bail because the
charges were grave and punishable by death .
He ordered they undergo medical examinations
before the hearing to verify their allegations.
The former Highfield MDC MP said they were
taken to Harare Central Police Station ’ s Law and
Order Section where they were questioned
about their plans .
Gwisai told court each time he gave an answer
his interrogators were not satisfied with , he
would be forced to lie down before being
assaulted with a plank on his back and buttocks.
He said he received more than 20 lashes from
at least 10 men and one woman interrogating
him.
He said he had difficulty sitting after the
beatings .
“ I was subjected to the beatings under recording
with particular instruction that I must admit that
I had said ‘ Abasha Mugabe ( Down with
Mugabe)’ and that ‘ he must be removed ’ , ”
Gwisai said .
Gwisai , the acting director of the Commercial
Law Institute at the University of Zimbabwe ,
admitted having organised a meeting with a
view to discuss the question of democracy and
constitutionalism taking into account recent
events in North Africa, particularly Egypt and
Tunisia .
He said among the arrested were HIV activists
who had been invited to the meeting .
They were allegedly denied medication by the
police , Gwisai told the court .
He dismissed the state’ s assertion that the
meeting was intended to mobilise people to
revolt against the government .
He said as a lecturer, he had a duty to teach
what socialism , capitalism and democracy were
and how the systems operated taking into
account the events in North Africa.
Defence lawyer Alec Muchadehama said the
accused told lawyers they were beaten with
broomsticks on their bodies, buttocks and the
soles of their feet.
He said others were denied medication and
access to lawyers.
Muchadehama made an application for refusal
of further remand citing lack of evidence to
show reasonable suspicion Gwisai and his 45
co -accused , who were arrested on Saturday ,
committed treason as alleged .
The lawyer said the arrest was unlawful and it
was a dragnet form of arrest akin to abduction.
“ My clients were holding an innocent meeting
on issues that concern them , when police
pounced and arrested some of them in the
meeting room while some were in other offices
minding their business and some were actually
vending ,” Muchadehama said .
Meanwhile , the court is set to make a ruling on
Monday on the application by The Standard
editor Nevanji Madanhire, reporter Nqobani
Ndlovu and Alpha Media Holdings ( AMH ) ,
represented by human resources manager Loud
Ramakgapola , for referral of their case to the
Constitutional Court.
The application was made by defence lawyer
Chris Mhike on Thursday when the trio
appeared in court on charges of publishing
statements that “ undermine public confidence
in law enforcement agency ” .
The state sought to have the matter postponed,
but magistrate Donald Ndirowei insisted the
prosecution make its submissions in response to
the defence application for referring the case to
the Supreme Court.
The magistrate repeatedly asked the prosecutor
to respond to the defence application , but the
prosecutor ended up saying : “ I submit that the
court can use its discretion . ” Mhike immediately
asked the court to grant his application .
“ In light of the state’ s response, we pray for
both applications to be granted and the matter
to be referred to the Supreme Court for
determination and the accused removed from
remand ,” submitted Mhike .
Ndirowei said he would deliver the ruling on
Monday.
Madanhire , Ndlovu and AMH are being charged
with publishing and communicating false
statements prejudicial to the state.
In another court case, the state on Thursday
declined to prosecute Masvingo-based journalist
Golden Maunganidze for defamation after he
allegedly wrote a satirical story linking Zanu PF
Masvingo provincial chairman Lovemore Matuke
to a sex scandal.
The state found no evidence to support
Matuke ’ s claims.

CHARLES LAITON | HARARE – Feb 24 2011
18 : 56
http://www.newsday.co.zw

The Movement for Democratic Change
formation of Zimbabwean Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai says a crackdown by forces
loyal to President Robert Mugabe has intensified
with numerous activists jailed for spurious and
politically motivated charges.
Harare police on Tuesday arrested MDC
legislator Douglas Mwonzora of Nyanga North,
Manicaland , on charges yet to be determined as
he left Parliament .
In Beitbridge, on the southern border with
South Africa, two of Mr . Tsvangirai ‘s official
drivers who were arrested on Friday for putting
a blue police -type light on their vehicle were
released on US $100 bail each by a magistrate.
Attorneys from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for
Human Rights said the drivers were accused of
driving a car with lights exclusive to police .
Their vehicle was impounded . Lawyer Lizwe
Jamela told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that the
two denied the charges.
In March 2009, soon after Mr . Tsvangirai
became prime minister , his vehicle was run off
the Harare- Masvingo road in a collision which
claimed the life of his wife, Susan .
Mr . Tsvangirai ‘s MDC formation said 13 party
activists arrested Monday in eastern Mutare on
charges of holding an illegal rally remained in
custody on Tuesday and were being denied
visitors and food. Nine party supporters arrested
in Nyanga on Sunday also remained in custody,
according to Tsvangirai MDC sources .
Six MDC legislators in the southeastern province
of Masvingo received summonses on Monday to
face charges they had broken up a ZANU-PF
rally addressed by Jabulani Sibanda , leader of
the Zimbabwe National War Veterans
Association .
Other party activists have been detained in the
capital, accused of fomenting violence .
Police could not be reached for comment on the
many arrests of MDC supporters .
Deputy MDC spokesperson Thabitha Khumalo
told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamili Nkomo
that the latest police actions are deplorable.
Tuesday in Harare activists of the group Women
of Zimbabwe Arise demonstrated near
Parliament demanding that the rights of women
be enshrined in the constitution now being
revised, and that electoral system reforms be
put in place .
Correspondent Thomas Chiripasi reported that
although police halted the march and dispersed
the protesters , they appeared to exercise
unusual restraint , leading to some speculation
authorities do not want to risk evoking parallels
with Egypt ‘s revolt .

http://www.voanews.com

MDC supporters seriously tortured by
police Two MDC supporters Kudakwashe
Ngorima and Wiseman Murwira were
seriously tortured by police upon their
arrest at Rugare police station, a Harare
magistrate has heard. The two who are part
of the four Kudakwashe Ngorima, Wiseman
Murwira , Robson Mudhinwa and Faresi
Mapiki were arrested for allegedly
assaulting Andrew Shambo [. . . ]
MDC supporters seriously tortured by police
Two MDC supporters Kudakwashe Ngorima and
Wiseman Murwira were seriously tortured by
police upon their arrest at Rugare police station,
a Harare magistrate has heard.
The two who are part of the four Kudakwashe
Ngorima, Wiseman Murwira , Robson Mudhinwa
and Faresi Mapiki were arrested for allegedly
assaulting Andrew Shambo of Zanu ( PF ) .
Shambo openly told the court that he did not
know who assaulted him.
Ngorima showed the court bruises sustained
during the torture which left the court
wondering how on earth a police officer could
torture a suspect to that extent .
He told the court through his legal
representative Mr . Gift Mutisi of the Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights the he was tortured
by a constable Manyane working with his
unidentified accomplice .
Murwira also told the court that one constable
Nyazema of Rugare handcuffed the second
accused before allowing a mob of Zanu ( PF )
supporters to attack him in the charge office,
with him watching in pleasure.
The state had initially denied the four bail saying
they were facing serious allegations but the
decision was quickly overturned by the Presiding
magistrate Lazarus Murendo at the application
of the defense lawyer.
Mutisi said the state had a task to serve the best
interest of justice and not necessarily to oppose
bail .
“ The state’ s job is not only to oppose bail , but to
serve the interest of justice, that is to see to it
that the society of which the accused are part
of , see that justice prevail ,” said Mutisi in his
application .
He also bemoaned the police behaviour of
arresting people at random saying this gave him
the conviction that the state had no strong case
against the four .
“ The accused persons have raised a very valid
point that they were not there when this
offence was committed . This can be justified
because of the random arresting behavior by
the police where twelve people were initially
arrested ( I take it as a dragnet) just arresting
people at random .
The four where ordered to deposit $50 each as
bail while the trial date was set as the 28 th of
February .

Senior Assistant Commissioner Clement Munoriyarwa, in charge of the province of Harare, told the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation that Egyptian-style mass protests would not be tolerated.

A senior official of the Zimbabwe Republic Police has threatened to crush any Egyptian-style protests by the Movement for Democratic Change formation led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, further stressing the power-sharing government.

Senior Assistant Commissioner Clement Munoriyarwa, in charge of the province of Harare, told the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation that Egyptian-style mass protests would not be tolerated.

“This is wishful thinking,” he said. “The situation in Egypt will never be tolerated anywhere in Zimbabwe..We want to assure the nation that we are fully prepared for such violent activities and our officers are already on the ground to ensure peace and tranquility prevails in the country.”

His statements were swiftly condemned by Co-Minister of Home Affairs Theresa Makone of the Tsvangirai MDC formation, who called them inflamatory.

“If he said that it is regrettable and I would like personally to have that statement investigated so that wecan establish on what basis he said that,” Makone told VOA. She added: “It is a serious statement, it is highly political and it is inflamatory.”

Hardliners in President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party have seized on remarks by Mr. Tsvangirai while at the recent World Economic Summit in Davos, Switzerland, to the effect that the people of Zimbabwe had the right to protest if they felt their rights were being infringed upon, contending that he was calling for street protests.

Violence has been escalating in the populous Harare suburb of Mbare and elsewhere in the capital and the surrounding region. Sources say some 60 families have fled their Mbare homes in the past 48 hours and been lodged in MDC safe houses following attacks by gangs of youths alleged to be under the control of ZANU-PF.

Confidential documents leaked to the press by human rights groups allege that ZANU-PF militants currently wreaking havoc around the country were trained at the Inkomo Army Barracks west of the capital beginning last November when the army started recruiting graduates of the National Youth Training Program turning out militia members.

Sources say the militia has launched “Operation Ngatizivanei,” shona for “Lets get to know each other,” targeting known or suspected backers of Mr. Tsvangirai’s MDC.

But Youth Minister Savior Kasukuwere, also ZAN-PF’s deputy youth secretary, told VOA reporter Blessing Zulu that no youths are being trained at Inkomo Barracks.

Police spokesman Oliver Mandipaka, maintained Friday that all was calm now in Mbare – contrary to most reports.  Mandipaka denied allegations by the MDC and others that the police have been standing by while ZANU-PF militants rampaged.

Makone said reports of violence are cause for concern police inaction is deplorable.

Meanwhile Friday the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee established to monitor compliance with the 2008 Global Political Agreement for power sharing promised to investigate the violence that has roiled Harare and the region in recent days.

Harare correspondent Thomas Chiripasi reported on the JOMIC initiative.

Elsewhere political parties in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second-largest city, agreed to form a multi-party liason committee to combat rising violence tied to the elections President Robert Mugabe has insisted should be held this year, Mzenzi Tshabangu reported.

 

by Blessing Zulu, Thoma Chiripasi & Mzenzi Tshabangu