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CCDZ Programme Officer George Makoni and community mobilizer granted bail
Centre for Community Development in Zimbabwe (CCDZ)
February 18, 2013

The Centre for Community Development In Zimbabwe (CCDZ) Programme Officer George Makoni and community mobiliser Gift Konjani have been granted $50 bail each by Chegutu magistrate Mr Zhou after spending the weekend in police custody.

Makoni and Konjani who are represented by Jeremiah Bamu of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) are being charged under the draconian Public Order and Security Act (POSA). The two will be back at the Chegutu Magistrates court on the 6th March to answer to charges of holding an illegal meeting on the new Constitution and preparation for elections.The two were arrested together with Reverend Deve of the Chegutu Church of Christ for holding an illegal meeting. Reverend Deve was released on the same day after police recorded a statement from him.

The meeting which was held last Friday at Pfupajena in Chegutu is part of the CCDZ drive to provide civic education to residents of various communities on the new constitution and preparing for the forthcoming elections.The purpose of the meetings is to mobilize people to participate in the Constitutional Referendum and the elections.

Commenting on the arrests, CCDZ director Phillip Pasirayi said: "There is absolutely nothing criminal about the work that we and other organizations are doing. As civil society we were of the mistaken view all along that the new inclusive government would respect our rights of freedom of association and assembly".

Pasirayi added that: "CCDZ will continue to provide civic education and encouraging citizen participation in the political process. Each time elections are looming civil society organizations are subjected to harassment by the authorities".

Please note that Gift Konjani was immediately re-arrested after he had paid his bail money of 50 USD. He had been charged with contravening POSA by being part of a so called illegal gathering in the Church of Christ discussing the draft Constitution. He is currently in Chegutu police cells about to spend another night in police custody. He will apparently appear in Chinhoyi magistrates court tomorrow 19th February, on unspecified charges relating to the 2008 election period when he was the Provincial Chairman for the MDC in Mashonaland West.

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