THE NGO NETWORK ALLIANCE PROJECT - an online community for Zimbabwean activists  
 View archive by sector


Back to Index

Activists released without appearing in court
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA)
July 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 handle it.

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 fact sheet

Please credit if you make use of material from this website. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.