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Monitor Issue - 114
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
October 10, 2011
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PF sanctions throw boilermaker in hot water
here is in hot water for refusing to sign a petition being championed
by ZANU PF to denounce smart sanctions imposed on President Robert
Mugabe and his close military, business and ZANU PF associates.
Oliver Chikumba's offence: Refusing to sign the ZANU PF anti-sanctions
petition and allegedly calling for President Mugabe to travel to
Hwange for a personal meeting with him. The 27-year-old Hwange Colliery
boilermaker is now before the court accused of having "intentionally
uttered a statement concerning the President with the knowledge
or realising that there is a real risk or possibility that it may
cause hatred, contempt or ridicule of the President."
He is being
charged under Secton 33 (2) (a) (ii) of the Criminal
Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 09:23. "That
is rubbish handidi kusaina nokuti andisi ZANU PF member ini ndiri
member yeMDC-T. Ini ndiri kuda iye Robert Mugabe wacho pano kwete
iwewe,"are the words the State alleges were uttered by Chikumba
after a ZANU PF activist Samukeliso Mlonyeni asked him to sign the
anti-sanctions petition. A police translation to the boilermaker's
words reads: "That is rubbish. I do not want to sign because
I am not a ZANU PF member. I am a member of MDC-T. I want Robert
Mugabe himself and not yourself." It was not even the police
that arrested Chikumba.
State intelligence officers Darlington Nhova, Marshal Nyoni and
Elijah Majoni to apprehend Chikumba. In papers filed in court, Nhova
states that his crew "traced" Chikumba until "we
got him" at Baobab Hotel. Several civil society groups such
as the Zimbabwe
Peace Project and Crisis
in Zimbabwe Coalition have repeatedly accused State institutions
of joining hands with ZANU PF activists to force people to sign
the anti-sanctions petition. Mugabe launched the petition earlier
this year, indicating he wanted at least two million people to sign
the petition. He plans to use the petition to approach international
bodies to appeal against the targeted sanctions.
including cabinet ministers, have repeatedly said Mlonyeni's
workplace, the Youth Ministry, is the hub of ghost workers. Citing
an independent audit, they accuse ZANU PF of stuffing its activists
in the ministry from where they draw a government salary for doing
denying the charges.
not admit to the charges levelled against me. I only said that I
will not sign the anti-sanctions petition forms since they were
for ZANU PF and I belong to the MDC-T. I did not mention anything
about the President of Zimbabwe," he states in his warned
and cautioned statement.
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