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This article participates on the following special index pages:

  • Index of articles on the mistreatment of the legal profession in Zimbabwe

  • Statement on the unlawful detention of Makoni and Muchadehama
    Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust (ZIMCET)
    May 08, 2007

    Visit the special index page on the mistreatment of the legal profession in Zimbabwe

    The Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust is deeply perturbed by the unlawful arrest and detention of two lawyers Andrew Makoni and Alec Muchadehama. The law enforcement agents are alleged to have ignored, with impunity, three court orders to release the human rights lawyers over the weekend. This smacks of arrogance on the part of the supposed custodians of the law. To add insult to injury, the police are further alleged to have ransacked the lawyers' offices and confiscated documents using a search warrant which lawyers were denied the right to scrutiny. Zimbabwe is a democratic society and no one should be above law because any signs of abuse of power and authority destroy the justice delivery system.

    This development adds to the growing list of the police impunity as far as respecting rule of law is concerned. In February and March the police had a series of clashes with opposition parties and civic leaders after they disregarded High Court rulings. The police barred the groups from holding prayer meetings although they had been cleared by the courts. This makes one wonder who will police the police particularly when disregarding the court orders lead to confrontation with the citizens.

    ZIMCET hereby joins other civic organisations and concerned citizens in denouncing these continued violations of human rights by the law enforcement agents and call on the authorities to exercise restraint and avoid politicising arrests because this sends a wrong message particularly when lawyers are treated as criminals in the discharge of their duties. ZIMCET calls upon the powers-that-be to speak out against rights violations as strongly as they do when the opposition or civic organisations are perceived to be on the wrong side of the law. The people of Zimbabwe perpetually live in fear, not in fear of an external enemy but fear of their supposed protectors. The police should be there to defend and promote human rights. Those in the police force who are found guilty of these atrocious human rights abuses should be made personal answerable for their actions. We all need a peaceful Zimbabwe without unnecessary confrontations.

    Visit ZIMCET's fact sheet

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