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Police detain, charge juveniles over Mbare violence
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)

January 25, 2011

Three juveniles are among 19 Mbare residents, who were arrested at the weekend and charged with engaging in public violence.

The three juveniles, Edwin Machokoto aged 16 years, Garikai Zuze aged 17 years and Thomas Tasara aged 17 years, who all reside at Nenyere and Matapi Flats in the high density suburb of Mbare and who were brought to Mbare Magistrates Court on Tuesday 25 January 2011 were arrested on Saturday 22 January 2011 at the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) offices in the volatile suburb, where they had sought refuge following attacks by some ZANU PF supporters.

The police charged the 19 residents with contravening Section 36 (1) (a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 by engaging in public violence.

The police alleged that the Mbare residents attacked some ZANU PF youths with stones and also threw stones at the police after clashing with some ZANU PF supporters in the suburb.

The police claim that the ZANU PF youths who numbered 15 were attacked while on their way to the residence of their provincial youth chairperson identified as Jim Kunaka who had raised a request for protection after being informed that MDC youths were planning to attack him or his house, a charge which was denied by the residents' lawyer Marufu Mandevere of Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni Legal Practitioners.

Magistrate Rebecca Kaviya released Thomas Tasara in the custody of his guardian while Machokoto and Zuze could not be released as their parents or guardians were not in court.

Mandevere, who is a member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) filed an application for the release of the sixteen residents on bail which was opposed by State prosecutor Emmanuel Chipanda. The bail application will resume on Wednesday 26 January 2011 before Magistrate Kaviya.

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