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Police pick up MMPZ coordinator, confiscate DVDs as MMPZ employees endure second night in police cells
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)

December 06, 2011

Police on Tuesday 6 December 2011 raided and picked up Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe (MMPZ) Project Coordinator, Andrew Moyse for allegedly possessing some materials on Gukurahundi and confiscated some Digital Video Disc (DVD)'s from the organisation's offices.

Four police officers from the Harare Central Police Station's Law and Order Section namely Detective Assistant Inspector Phiri, Detective Sergeant Chinyerere, Detective Sergeant Kasambita and Detective Sergeant Munatsi stormed the MMPZ offices in Milton suburb in Harare around mid-morning on Tuesday 6 December 2011 and took Moyse with them for "interviews with decision makers."

The police officers who attempted to justify their raid on the MMPZ offices on a search warrant confiscated 127 copies of some DVD's from the media monitoring organisation's offices.

According to the search warrant the police claimed that they had information that MMPZ was in possession of some compact discs comprising some material on the Matabeleland mass killings known as Gukurahundi.

Although the police had indicated that they intended to charge Moyse with contravening Section 31 (a) (ii) of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly communicating or publishing false statements prejudicial to the State, they only interrogated him for several hours and profiled him and his organisation before releasing him. The police remained in possession of the DVD's.

Moyse, who was represented by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) member lawyers Trust Maanda, Gift Mtisi, Rose Hanzi and Tawanda Zhuwarara, is the third MMPZ employee to be questioned by the police inside two days after the arrest of two project officers, Fadzai December and Molly Chimhanda on Monday 5 December 2011.

December, Chimhanda and MMPZ member Gilbert Mabusa were arrested on Monday 5 December 2011 after they attended at Gwanda Police Station in the company of their ZLHR lawyer, Kossam Ncube to 'answer questions'. Their attendance to the police station followed requests by Gwanda police officers that they should visit Gwanda Police station for questioning relating to a workshop conducted in the area in November.

December, Chimhanda and Mabusa, who on Tuesday 6 December 2011 endured their second night in police custody were charged with contravening section 25(1) (b) of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA), for allegedly 'participating in a gathering without seeking authority from the regulating authority' and also for allegedly contravening section 37(1) (b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, by 'distributing material that is likely to provoke a breach of peace'.

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