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Lawyers protest intimidation
Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR)
November 17, 2009

Legal practitioners from the Zimbabwe Law Society yesterday around 2pm marched in protest of the continued unprofessional conduct and intimidation campaign targeted at their profession by the state. The march began at the Harare High court along Samora Machel Avenue into 4th street and then turned into Central Avenue where a petition was handed to the minister of justice and legal affairs Patrick Chinamasa.

Addressing the lawyers at the High court, Chris Mhike expressed disappointment over the fallen standards of the handling of law officers as provided by the international tenets and statutes. He spoke heavily against the systematic harassment of prominent human rights lawyers like Alec Muchadehama , Andrew Makoni to name a few.

Mr. Mhike expressed disgust towards the conduct of the attorney general Johannes Tomana for failing to conduct his duty as an independent officer. Tomana has publicly declared himself an ardent supporter of ZANU PF, something that compromises his position and credibility in delivering his services in a non partisan manner. His appointment as the attorney general is one of the hot contested outstanding issues threatening the existence of the Global Political Agreement.

It remains to be seen if president Mugabe will abide by the recently endorsed binding communiqué of January 2009 which states that the controversial appointments of the attorney general and reserve Bank governor must be resolved by the coalition government.

Meanwhile, residents of Bindura have lodged complaints to ROHR Zimbabwe on the continued interference on the judicial system by staunch ZANU PF supporters in Mashonaland central to sway judgments against MDC political activist. The provincial information and publicity secretary for MDC Mashonaland Central, Kuda Chideya said "the justice system in Mashonaland Central is severely compromised by partisan interference from ZANU PF heavyweights in the province.'' The major borne of contention is the suspected fears that magistrate Chakanyuka has given in to pressure from ZANU PF heavyweights and therefore she should step down from presiding over cases involving ZANU PF and MDC supporters. Her continued stay at the bench is producing predictable outcomes pointing to an abuse of the judicial system.

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