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July 10, 2011
Police have renewed a
crackdown on human rights defenders after they arrested a lawyer
who had gone to Harare Central police station to represent three
Ministry of Finance employees who have been in detention since Thursday.
Tawanda Tandi, was held
yesterday afternoon when he made inquiries into the arrests of the
ministry's employees who include Petronella Chishawa who was
recently alleged to have had an affair with Minister Tendai Biti.
Police spokesman Wayne
Bvudzijena's number was switched off and no comment could
be obtained from either him or Andrew Phiri.
was arrested in the afternoon when he went to police to enquire
about his client", Irene Petras, director of the Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), told the Daily News on Sunday
Tandi is being
charged with Section 184 of the Criminal
Codification and Law Reforn Act, which relates to defeating
or obstructing the course of justice.
The arrest of Tandi and
the continued incarceration of Chishawa, in the absence of a complaint
of prejudice by her employers, sources said last night, "could
be a renewed charge at Biti."
Chishawa and her colleagues
were picked up on Thursday under suspicion that they "awarded"
business to a company which had not tendered for the supply of uniforms
used by ushers during the EuroMoney conference held in Harare in
that the ministry which should have been a complainant in this case
has not made a complaint. The ministry was not prejudiced. This
leaves us wondering why Chishawa and her colleagues have been arrested,"
Sources said police demanded
to see the passport of Chishawa, raising more questions as to why
they should link a passport to flouting tender procedures.
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