THE NGO NETWORK ALLIANCE PROJECT - an online community for Zimbabwean activists  
 View archive by sector


Back to Index

National human rights defenders project - Alert No. 3
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
September 19, 2007

Our Rapid Reaction Unit (RRU) of the National Human Rights Defenders Project is working flat out to respond to distress calls by human rights defenders and seek relief for those in detention. Below is an update of the situation obtaining at present:-


ZLHR lawyers were once again denied access at Law and Order to see the four detained Human Rights Defenders. Over and above the four people picked up yesterday, the police have also abducted and detained the brother of Mr Lovemore Matombo, the President of the ZCTU, his security guard, and an assistant, Mr Tonderai Ndira. ZLHR is reliably informed that they are being coerced to reveal the whereabouts of Mr Matombo. ZLHR, through the Rapid Reaction Unit, have filed an Urgent High Court application to seek their release. The urgent application for Michael Kandukuta and four others arrested on Monday in the Workington area which was set down for 2:30pm today before Justice Musakwa was cancelled after the police took the HRDs to court where bail was granted and they were remanded to 3 October 2007.


Charles Chikozho, another ZCTU official, has just been picked up and he has joined the detained official, Mr Teveteve, at Gweru Central police station, Law and Order section. No charges have been preferred as yet against them but the police continue to hold them saying that they are not under arrest but are 'assisting' the police with information.


All the arrested persons in Bulawayo were released late last night and today but they were asked to come back to the police station today. They were released after they had signed warned and cautioned statements. Allegations laid against them include malicious damage to property for allegedly spray painting (graffiti) on walls and buildings. ZLHR lawyer, Kossam Ncube, has since accompanied them to the police. They were told that the police would proceed by way of summons.

Student HRDs

ZLHR Rapid Reaction Unit today responded to the arrest of two University of Zimbabwe students who were being detained at Avondale Police Station. ZLHR Lawyers attended at Avondale Police Station to represent Lovemore Chinoputsa and Fortune Chamba. Information to hand shows that the two were arrested yesterday at around 14:00hrs after delivering speeches at the University student gathering during which they highlighted concerns over the accommodation crisis created by the University denying accommodation to all students. They highlighted the high tuition fees which most students could not afford and the general hardships the student were facing as a result of maladministration by the University authorities. After their speeches, the two were apprehended by the University's security guards who assaulted them with clenched fists and baton sticks. The assaults were directed by the head of security, Mr Tarambiwa, with one officer named Mudzingwere being identified as an assailant. After they were assaulted and interrogated by University security agents and intelligence operatives, they were accused of working with the ZCTU and taken to Avondale Police Station where they were detained.

The students were later transferred to the CID Law & Order section at Harare Central Police Station where they remain at present. ZLHR lawyers are in the process of following up and seeking their release or to have them taken to court as soon as possible by way of a further Urgent Chamber Application to the High Court.

Visit the ZLHR fact sheet

Please credit if you make use of material from this website. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.