Back to Index
Magistrate refers Mwonzora's case to the Supreme Court as
police defy court order to release COPAC vehicle
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
May 23, 2011
Ignatio Mhene on Monday 23 May 2011 granted an application filed
by Nyanga North Member of Parliament Hon. Douglas Mwonzora and 32
Nyanga residents, seeking a referral of their matter to the Supreme
Court to determine the violation of several of their constitutional
and the Nyanga residents who were arrested
in February and charged with public violence filed a constitutional
challenge on 10 May 2011 arguing that their 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.
In his ruling
which was delivered on Monday 23 May 2011, Magistrate Mhene upheld
that the application was not frivolous or vexatious as claimed by
the State prosecutor Tirivanhu Mutyasira, who had opposed the application
filed by Mwonzora and the residents' lawyers Jeremiah Bamu
of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) and David Tandiri of
Maunga, Maanda and Associates Legal Practitioners, who is a member
ruled that all the questions raised by Hon. Mwonzora and the Nyanga
dwellers relating to the alleged violation of their rights enshrined
in the Constitution should be referred to the Supreme Court in terms
Section 24 (2) of the Constitution as requested by the applicants.
suspended the reporting conditions for the Constitution Select Committee
(COPAC) joint chairperson and the all the Nyanga residents pending
the determination of their application in the Supreme Court.
and the other applicants had been reporting once a week to the police
as part of their bail conditions.
also ordered the police to immediately release upon sight of the
court order a Mazda BT 50 vehicle which Hon. Mwonzora had been using
to execute COPAC duties.
But as has become
customary and in defiance of a court ruling the police refused to
release the vehicle even after the lawyers had shown them the court
Kasi, the Officer In Charge of CID Law and Order in Manicaland province,
who had earlier advised Detective Inspector Mutema of Nyanga to
release the vehicle reportedly made an about turn and ordered Mutema
not to release the COPAC vehicle.
Visit the ZLHR
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.