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released without appearing in court
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA)
09 , 2007
In an act that typifies
oppression and repression of the medieval era, the twelve NCA activists
and officials who were arrested and detained by police in Marondera
on Thursday, 5 July 2007 were this morning released without appearing
in court. The state is now to pursue the case by way of summons
after a prosecutor who had been assigned to the case refused to
This is yet another sad
story of innocent citizens spending days in police cells on baseless
grounds. It is a pathetic case of justice delayed and justice denied
for Mr. Leon Chiimba, the NCA Chairperson for Mashonaland East,
Dasly Kagwambo, the NCA Mashonaland East Field Officer and ten other
NCA members who have had to spend four days in jail cells only to
be released without appearing in court. The phrase that the State
will now proceed by way of summons has become synonymous with a
crude repressive system in which police detains citizens for the
simple reason of punishing them.
The fact that the twelve
NCA activists and officials were held in police cells for four days
and four nights, only to be released thereafter without appearing
in court points to the ZANU PF government's ever growing determination
to continue hanging onto power through oppression. At a time when
the government is ostensibly working towards the resolution of the
country's crisis by engaging in talks with the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the Marondera incident and
other repressive acts that surrounded last Thursday's peaceful
demonstrations point to this government's outright hypocrisy.
Other pointers to the
continuing wave of oppression include the Gweru incident in which
the NCA Youth Chairperson, Alois Dzvairo and twenty other activists
spent the night of 5 July, 2007 in filthy cells at Gweru Central
police station where Dzvairo was brazenly assaulted, sustaining
a broken leg. In Harare, Bulawayo and Mutare, police details armed
with police dogs and truncheons brutally prevented NCA activists
from expressing their views on how the country's political,
social and economic problems can be resolved. In Masvingo, three
hundred people, among them school children demonstrated and were
exposed to severe assaults by police. Four of the demonstrators
who included the NCA Gender Chairperson for Masvingo province, Mrs
Selina Maridza, were detained for the whole of Thursday night, only
to be released without being charged.
Meanwhile, two NCA officials,
Mr. Elisha Makuyana and Mr. Bernard Dube were freed yesterday after
two torrid days in the hands of the Central Intelligence Organization
(CIO). Mr. Makuyana is the NCA Chairperson for Manicaland province
while Mr. Dube is the NCA Field Officer for Manicaland. Makuyana
and Dube were picked up last Friday at 1500 Hours by CIO operatives
in Nyanga where they were organizing for a public meeting. The CIO
operatives accused them of working in cahoots with the Voice of
America (VOA) and Shortwave Radio Africa who they said are spreading
propaganda against the government of Zimbabwe. The CIO operatives
held them at their offices, releasing them around 0000 Hours of
the same day. They followed them to their homes in Mutare on the
following day and took them to CIO offices in Mutare where they
threatened and warned them that they were living dangerously by
engaging in NCA activities.
The NCA wishes to make
it clear that its activists and officials who are being exposed
to the stated acts of repression have committed no wrong. They have
simply sought to enjoy their rights to free expression and association.
The state, through repressive apparatus namely the police and the
CIO are in the wrong by blocking the enjoyment of these rights.
Their repressive acts will not do Zimbabwe any good. Similar repressive
acts have always been resorted to in past instances and they will
only worsen the country's parlous political and socio-economic
situation. Above all, such repressive acts are a stab in the back
of the SADC initiative towards the resolution of the Zimbabwean
crisis. Against a background of the gazetted eighteenth amendment
to the country's constitution and these continuing developments
of repression and oppression, the talks between the MDC and ZANU
PF can only constitute a mockery of common sense and reason.
The NCA will not be fooled
by these acts of repression and deception. The People's struggle
for a new and democratic constitution continues. The government
must brace up for more demonstrations.
Visit the NCA
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