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arrest villagers as lawyers challenge abuse of Section121 in Mwonzora's
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
May 10, 2011
Police on Tuesday
10 May 2011 arrested a Nyanga villager, Tonderai Nyabasa, for allegedly
committing public violence three months ago, alongside
Nyanga North Member of the House of Assembly and Constitution Select
Committee (COPAC) co-chairperson, Hon. Douglas Mwonzora and 23 dwellers.
himself to the police, who detained him at Nyanga Police Station.
The police indicated that they took orders from police detectives
at the Law and Order Section at Mutare Central Police Station in
detaining Nyabasa, who is expected to appear in court on Wednesday
11 May 2011.
Hon. Mwonzora and the Nyanga residents, who were arrested in February
and charged with violating section 36(1)(a) of the Criminal
Law (Codification and Reform) Act for public violence filed
an application before Nyanga Magistrate Ignatio Mhene seeking referral
of the matter to the Supreme Court to determine the violation of
several of their constitutional rights.
In their application,
the lawyers, Jeremiah Bamu of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
(ZLHR) and David Tandiri of Maunga, Maanda and Associates Legal
Practitioners, who is a member of ZLHR argued that their clients'
rights to liberty, protection of the law and protection from inhuman
and degrading treatment as enshrined in the Constitution were violated
when they were arrested, abducted and detained in filthy police
and prison cells in Nyanga and Mutare respectively.
Court has already ruled that detention under conditions similar
to those where Hon. Mwonzora and the other residents were incarcerated
constitutes inhuman and degrading treatment.
want the Supreme Court to determine whether or not the assaults,
torture and denial of medical attention to their clients constitute
inhuman and degrading treatment in violation of Section 15 (1) of
Bamu and Tandiri
also want the Supreme Court to determine whether or not the raising
of Section 121 of the Criminal
Procedure and Evidence Act against their clients denied them
their protection of the law and infringed on their right to liberty
in a manner that is not reasonably justified in a democratic society.
or not in raising Section 121 (3) of the Criminal Procedure and
Evidence Act (Chapter 9:07), the State acted with mala fides (bad
faith) and thereby contravened Section 18 (1) (a) of the Constitution.
will deliver his ruling on the application for referral to the Supreme
Court on 23 May. The Magistrate will also pass a ruling on an application
which the lawyers filed seeking the release of a COPAC vehicle allocated
to Hon. Mwonzora, which the police seized upon his arrest in February.
also temporarily suspended the reporting conditions for Hon. Mwonzora
together with four other accused people namely, Munyaradzi Mwonzora,
Sekai Gombe, David Mutare and Richard Hazangwi until 23 May 2011
to allow them to attend to COPAC business where thematic committees
are currently analysing and organising data collected from public
and the other accused persons were reporting to the police once
a week as part of their bail conditions since their admission to
bail in March.
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