Back to Index
relating to detained opposition members
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
June 12, 2007
for Human Rights (ZLHR) confirms the following developments in relation
to members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change who
have been in custody for over two months:
On 7 June 2007
PINIEL DENGA was granted bail. He was ordered to deposit an amount
of Z$50 million, surrender his travel documents to the court and
report to the authorities at the Law and Order section of Harare
Central police station three times a week. He was also ordered not
to interfere with any witnesses.
Also on 7 June
2007 Magistrate Gloria Takundwa upheld two applications for refusal
of further remand for the following: ZEBEDIAH JUABA, KUDAKWASHE
MATIBIRI, HON. PAUL MADZORE MP, BRIGHTON MATIMBA, BETTER CHOKURURAMA,
LUKE TAMBORINYOKA and STANLEY MUTSENDI (in the matter of State v
Zebediah and 6 Ors), as well as TONDERAI NDIRA, BARNABUS NDIRA,
ENOCK MUKUDU, FRIDAY MULEYA, NYASHA CHIKOMBE and BORNWELL CHIVIZHE
(in the matter State v Tonderai Ndira and 5 Ors). She agreed with
lawyers for the accused persons that the State had failed to provide
concrete evidence to sustain the charges and therefore the detainees
should be released. However, Tonderai Ndira, Friday Muleya, Kudakwashe
Matibiri, Better Chokururama, Hon Paul Madzore MP and Stanley Mutsendi
were not released, as they are co-accused in other related matters
which remain pending before the courts at this time.
On 8 June 2007
bail applications pending before the High Court were postponed in
order to await a ruling in the Magistrates' Court on applications
for refusal of further remand, similar to those lodged on behalf
of detainees named in the cases outlined above. These applications
will be considered in the Magistrates' Court on Monday 11 June 2007
on behalf of
on 8 June 2007, the Magistrates' Court considered an application
for referral to the Supreme Court of the case of PHILIP KATSANDE.
The court had directed that he be summoned to give evidence which
would enable the court to make an informed decision on whether the
beatings, torture and harassment he suffered at the time of his
arrest violated his constitutional rights with the result of quashing
proceedings brought against him. Judgment has been reserved to Friday
15 June 2007.
On 11 June 2007
in the matter of State v Amos Musekiwa & 6 Ors, AMOS MUSEKIWA
was granted bail on the sum of Z$1 million, ordered to reside at
his given address and report to Law and Order three times a week
and not interfere with witnesses. His co-accused, namely HETADGE
MUTASA, CHIMUDARA AMISI, MOSES MUTASA, PETER BOKOSI, EDMORE MANYOFA
and FUNGAI KATURUZA, were successful in their application for refusal
of further remand and have since been released.
Also on 11 June
2007 High Court judge, Justice Anne Marie Gowora, granted bail in
an application made by ISHMAEL KAUZENI. In her judgment she found
the Ministerial certificate which had been issued in attempts to
keep the accused in custody was of no force and effect and therefore
would not be considered during the bail application. However, Mr.
Kauzeni was not released as he remains a co-accused in a further
criminal matter still pending before the courts.
On 12 June 2007,
applications for refusal of further remand will be considered in
the cases of SHAME WAKATAMA and 6 Ors, MORGAN KOMICHI and Anor (DENNIS
MURIRA), PHILIP MABIKA and 12 Ors, RAYMOND BHAKE, VASCO MAFOTI AND
IAN MAKONE. ZLHR considers these developments to be of significant
consequence, especially the Magistrate's refusal to further remand
nineteen (19) of the accused persons.
including those who remain in custody, have been held for over 2
months, with the police evidencing confusion at every court appearance
and drawing out the process unnecessarily. The arrogant conduct
of the police, which has included serious allegations of torture
of suspects in custody, arrest and detention for the purposes of
investigation, state witnesses who cannot be located or who have
failed to avail themselves in court, and long delays in bringing
suspects to trial is, in our view, a contravention of the Constitution
of Zimbabwe and international human rights instruments to which
Zimbabwe is a State Party.
It is further
indicative of a sick system which is in urgent need of reform, transparency
and accountability to the victims of such severe human rights violations.
Also of significance is the striking out of the ministerial certificate
by Justice Gowora, which is indicative of a firm and fair line taken
by the judiciary against arbitrary use of executive powers to diminish
the powers and independence of the judiciary.
It has not escaped
the attention of all fair-minded observers that the state has sought
to target the main structures of the opposition relating to election
preparation and campaign, as well as information dissemination.
With the collapse of the state's cases in these two matters, there
is a reasonable suspicion that this has been done purely to hamper
the opposition in their preparations for the forthcoming elections
and to prevent the people of Zimbabwe from making a free choice
as is their constitutional right.
notes that the state-controlled media has chosen, since the time
of the arrest of these individuals, to fuel public hatred against
them by convicting them in the public media before they had a chance
to answer the charges against them, in contravention of protective
constitutional provisions relating to the presumption of innocence.
We commend the
actions of the judicial officers in these matters and urge them
to remain resolute and discharge their constitutional mandate in
a free, fair and independent matter to ensure that victims of state
repression retain their constitutional rights and are able to obtain
redress for the violations committed against them.
Visit the ZLHR
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.