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Machisa released on bail
January 29, 2013
The Youth Forum
notes with great relief the recent granting of bail to the ZimRights
boss, Okay Machisa, a luminary human rights fighter. The National
Director of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association has been in custody
since 14 January on allegations of attempting to defraud the Registrar
General's Office by forging and manufacturing counterfeit
copies of voter registration certificates.
attempts to gain freedom were constantly frustrated
as his allegations took a political twist with the magistrates'
courts describing his allegations as "Of national interest
as it involved defrauding the Registrar General's office."
Machisa's actions as described by the magistrates were likely
to cause bloodshed during and after the make or break election the
country is facing this year. This, the magistrates argued was going
to attract calls for a NO-FLY -ZONE on Zimbabwe reminiscent
of what toppled the hard core North African dictator, Maumar Gaddafi,
a close friend of President Mugabe. Such utterances by the courts
goes far to expose the fear gripping the Harare regime.
In his bail
conditions, Machisa has been ordered to pay USD500 to the Clerk
of Court, to remain at his present residence and report to the police
weekly, and to put up an immovable asset worth no less than USD50K.
The Youth Forum
continues to be worried about the escalation in the wanton arrests
of human rights activists ahead of elections. We strongly condemn
such barbaric acts and appeal to the collective conscience of the
principals in the inclusive government to stop it and ensure a conducive
environment ahead of the elections.
We also note
with great exasperation, the arrest-to-investigate approach that
has become accustomed with the Zimbabwe Republic Police. We strongly
urge the ZRP to investigate in order to arrest; a practice consistent
with all human rights upholding police forces throughout the world.
It was a sorry sight, seeing Okay Machisa, shackled in leg irons
for a crime that has not been investigated. This clearly shows that
the justice system in the country is being used to punish those
suspected to be working against the parochial interest of the liberation
Youth Forum is deeply saddened by the untimely passing on of Professor
John Makumbe who dedicated the better of his life fighting towards
a free, just, democratic and prosperous Zimbabwe. May his Soul Rest
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