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POSA losing relevance: As Madhuku trial is postponed for the 10th time
Platform for Youth Development
February 01, 2012

Chipinge Magistrate Court has for the 10th time postponed the trial of Platform for Youth Development Trust (PYD) Director Claris Madhuku to the 21st of February 2012.

The five hour long trial failed to bring finality to the matter after the state once again brought irrelevant and ignorant witnesses who failed to interpret the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) which they used to arrest him.

Madhuku's defence Lawyer Langton Mhungu of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) quizzed how the police arrested the accused when they could not even interpret POSA which they used to charge him. He argued with the state witnesses on the difference between a facilitator and an organiser as the police were saying that he (Madhuku) was the organiser of the meeting when in actual fact he only facilitated.

One of the state witnesses had the audacity to lie under oath that participants to the meeting in question were singing political songs leading the court to believe that they (police officers) had personal issues against Madhuku.

In his judgement, Chipinge Magistrate Vusumuzo Gapara ordered that Madhuku return to court on 21 February 2012 for the final judgement. He said the court would not further postpone the matter as the state had continuously failed to raise reasonable arguments to justify their case against the accused.

In his words, Madhuku took time to thank Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights for the support they have availed to him and his organization since his arrest on 14 April 2011.

"I am very grateful for their support; I don't even know where I could have been by now," he said. Today was my 10th appearance and if you understand, you can see how deep their concern is, they want me to be free that is why they tirelessly committed their resources towards my case.

Madhuku expressed optimism that justice was on its way. "Obviously justice will see the day," he said. He hinted that he was not going to stop his human rights work. "Zimbabwe is currently trapped in serious human rights challenges and it is the duty of human rights workers to strive for a free society," he noted.

He further lambasted POSA saying it should be repealed if the police officers cannot interpret and continuously abuse it to push personal interests as in his case. "Besides being ambiguous it has been on numerous times been abused by police officers to advance their hate interests against merchants of democracy and human rights,"

Madhuku was arrested on 14 April 2011 at Rimbi shopping centre in Chipinge on allegations of organising and addressing a public gathering without notifying the regulatory authority as defined by section 24(1) of the Public Order and Security Act.

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