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Police frustrate, interrogate lawyers representing tormented Minister and Pastor
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)

April 19, 2011

Police in Hwange on Tuesday 19 April 2011 blocked lawyers who were travelling to Hwange Magistrates Court in Matabeleland North province to represent the co-Minister of the Organ on National Healing and Reconciliation and Integration Hon. Moses Mzila-Ndlovu and Catholic Priest Father Marko Mabutho Mkandla, who were set to appear in court this morning.

The police blocked the lawyers Lizwe Jamela, Nosimilo Chanayiwa of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) and Nikiwe Ncube of Webb, Low and Barry Legal Practitioners, who is also a member of ZLHR from reaching Hwange Magistrates Court after they surprising set up a road block as lawyers entered into the coal mining town to attend court proceedings for Father Mkandla and Mzila Ndlovu, who have been languishing in police detention since their arrest last week.

It appears that the police roadblock had been mounted specifically to target the lawyers for yet unknown reasons.

When stopped at the road block, one police officer quickly jumped into the lawyers' vehicle and ordered them to drive towards Hwange Police Station. The police are currently interrogating the lawyers and ZLHR fears that this could delay or fail them to represent their clients, who are supposed to appear in court this morning.

Father Mkandla and Bulilima West Member of Parliament Hon. Mzila Ndlovu were arrested on Wednesday 13 April 2011 and Friday 15 April 2011 respectively and charged with contravening the country's tough security laws such as the Public Order and Security Act and the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly convening a healing service at Silwane Primary School in Lupane, Matabeleland North, without notifying the police.

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