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Lawyer arrested
Daily News

July 10, 2011

http://www.dailynews.co.zw/index.php/news/34-news/3191-lawyer-arrested.html

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.

"Tawanda 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 last night.

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 March.

"It's surprising 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," said sources.

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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