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  • Treason charges against Munyaradzi Gwisai & others - Index of articles

  • Relief for the alleged treason activists as state dilutes treason charge and relaxes reporting conditions
    Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)

    May 31, 2011

    The State will now prefer lesser charges of attempting to subvert a constitutionally elected government against International Socialist Organisation (ISO) general-coordinator Munyaradzi Gwisai and five other social, economic justice and human rights activists who were initially set to undergo trial for treason.

    Edmore Nyazamba, a law officer in the Attorney General's Office made the disclosure on Monday 30 May 2011 during the hearing of an application filed by the activists' lawyer Alec Muchadehama in the High Court seeking the relaxation of his clients' bail reporting conditions.

    Nyazamba told High Court Judge Justice Samuel Kudya that Gwisai, anti-debt campaigner Hopewell Gumbo, Antonater Choto, the director of the Zimbabwe Labour Centre, student leader Welcome Zimuto, Eddson Chakuma and Tatenda Mombeyarara would no longer face trial on a charge of treason but for allegedly subverting a constitutional government in contravention of Section 22 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act when their trial commences on 18 July 2011 at the Harare Regional Magistrates Court.

    Nyazamba did not give any reasons for diluting the charge.

    Nyazamba made the revelation as he argued against the relaxation of reporting conditions for the activists.

    Three of the activists, Gwisai, Gumbo and Choto wanted the High Court to release their passports to allow them to travel outside the country to attend to professional, academic, medical and social business.

    The six activists also wanted the High Court to put aside the obligation to report three times a week to CID Law and Order section at Harare Central Police Station which they argued was onerous considering that they had religiously abided by such a condition since their admission to bail in March.

    In his ruling, Justice Kudya ordered the six activists to report to the police on the last Friday of each month and not three times a week as had been the case.

    However, Justice Kudya could not grant Muchadehama's application seeking the release of Gwisai, Gumbo and Choto's passports. The Judge said the three activists should provide documented proof to support their application for the release of their travel documents.

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