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ZIMCET condemns the arrests of its officers and workshop participants in Bindura
Zimbabwe Civil Education Trust (ZIMCET)
July 02, 2003

ZIMCET is horrified at the way that the police continue to turn victims into offenders in selective application of the law. Two ZIMCET Regional Officers and 20 workshop participants were the latest victims of the continuing illegal arrests of innocent civilians who are always released on no charge. The officers were in the middle of running a workshop for volunteers running from June 12 to 15 2003 in Bindura, when they were first disrupted by youths of the ruling party. The youths wanted to know what the workshop was all about and what the organisation stands for.

Although the officers approached the police for protection, this was not immediately granted until the entire group had been harassed. Strangers with only ruling party credentials went through their training material; their rooms and the vehicles of the two officers had tyres deflated. The harassment continued until the police only came in later in the night of June 14, 2003 to arrest them. They were charged with contravening section 11:17 of the Public Order and Security Act. They were detained for two nights and released with no charge and the usual "police can proceed by way of summons."

The fifteen male detainees were accommodated in a crowded cell that was filthy and the 7 women slept on the floor in the reception area of Bindura Police Station where police officers jumped over them from time to time.

ZIMCET views this as a tactic that is meant to harass all those who are deemed to have different views and opinions. The objectives of the workshop were to set the ground for nation building by encouraging the formation of peace committees that will spearhead development. ZIMCET is not a political party and has never harboured such interests. The organisation is not a front for the opposition either. ZIMCET is a non-governmental organisation that is proud to work for development of this country, through the building of tolerance in communities.

For further information contact:
Jestina M. Mukoko, Public Relations Officer
198 Samora Machel West, Belvedere
Box 1858

Tel: 741552/741358
Fax: 778094


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