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Father Mklandla, Minister freed after surrendering passports
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)

April 20, 2011

Tormented Catholic Priest Father Marko Mabutho Mkandla and Hon. Moses Mzila-Ndlovu, the co-Minister of the Organ on National Healing and Reconciliation and Integration on Wednesday 20 April 2011 walked out of remand prison after they surrendered their passports to the clerk of court at Hwange Magistrates Court.

Father Mkandla and Hon. Mzila-Ndlovu were granted $500 bail each by Hwange Magistrate Peter Tomupei Madiba on Tuesday 19 April 2011 after spending six and five nights in police detention respectively for allegedly violating the country's obnoxious security laws.

Magistrate Madiba ordered Father Mkandla and Hon. Mzila-Ndlovu to pay bail amounting to $500 each and to surrender their passports with the clerk of court. Father Mkandla and Hon. Mzila-Ndlovu were also ordered not to interfere with State witnesses. But they could not be immediately freed as they had to surrender their passports which were not on them. Father Mkandla and Hon. Mzila Ndlovu finally walked out of remand prison on Wednesday 20 April 2011 after satisfying all their bail conditions with the assistance of Victoria Falls based lawyer, Gugulethu Simango of Dube and Associates, who is a member of ZLHR.

Background

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.

On Tuesday 19 April 2011, lawyers Lizwe Jamela, Nosimilo Chanayiwa of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) Nikiwe Ncube of Webb, Low and Barry Legal Practitioners and Simango raised complaints in court against the police for denying Father Mkandla food since his detention at Tsholotsho Police Station. Mkandla's lawyers told Magistrate Madiba that the police denied their client food and only gave him water during his period in detention.

The lawyers also complained about the police behaviour in denying them access to their clients and refusing to disclose the details pertaining to his detention as they moved him from one police station to another.

Lawyers also protested against the police who brought their clients while in leg irons.

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