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NCA members wrongly fined
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA)
October 24, 2003

The seventy-seven members of the NCA who had remained in police custody after the NCA demonstration of Wednesday 22nd October 2003 have been released after being coerced into paying fines of $5 000 each. The NCA Chairperson, Dr Lovemore Madhuku, however, remains in police custody after refusing to pay the fine for the simple reason that he has not committed any offence.

The police spuriously charged Dr Madhuku and 77 other NCA members under Section 19 of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA), which gives reference to gatherings conducive to violence. Notable is how the police have failed to bring up a charge of violence against the NCA members. What the police have done is to simply abuse an obscure section of POSA to justify their wanton atrocities against peaceful citizens demanding nothing by basic freedoms. This is because the alleged offence of simply gathering is not proportionate to the brutality with which the police responded to the NCA's peaceful procession.

The fines that have been imposed on our members by the police are, therefore, baseless and we are moving to nullify the so-called admissions of guilty through legal channels. If anything the imposition of such dubious fines has become part of the government's overall strategy to silence us by trying to bleed the NCA financial coffers dry.

Let it be known that the NCA cause will not be paralysed by these ZANU PF inspired medieval political tactics. The NCA will continue in its resolve to fight for a democratic constitution in Zimbabwe. Together with the NCA partners in the progressive branch of civic society, we are co-ordinating on how the struggle for democracy should best proceed in the wake of the ZANU PF government's latest atrocities against the citizens of Zimbabwe and humanity.

A special press conference on the Way Forward will be addressed by Dr Lovemore Madhuku and other strategic players in the struggle against political repression on Monday 27th October 2003, 10 00 hours at the NCA Head Office, 348 Herbert Chitepo Avenue, Harare.

Members of the press and other interested parties are invited to attend.

NCA Information and Publicity Department

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