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cases collapse in Hwange
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
March 28, 2012
Rose Dube on Wednesday 28 March 2012 brought relief to Catholic
Priest Father Marko Mabutho Mkandla and Hwange resident Oliver Chikumba
after he removed them from remand.
was arrested in April
last year and charged with contravening the country's obnoxious
security laws such as the Public
Order and Security Act and the Criminal
Law (Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly convening a
healing service at Silwane Primary School in Lupane, Matabeleland
North, without notifying the police.
boilermaker employed by Hwange Colliery Company was arrested last
year and charged with contravening Section 33(2)(a)(ii) of the Criminal
Law (Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly uttering 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. This was after Chikumba refused to
sign the ZANU (PF) petition to denounce smart sanctions imposed
on President Robert Mugabe and his close military, business and
party associates and for allegedly calling for Mugabe to travel
to Hwange for a personal meeting with him.
But on Wednesday,
Magistrate Dube removed Chikumba from remand after the State represented
by Khumbulani Ndlovu, the area public prosecutor for Hwange advised
the court that he had no knowledge on the whereabouts of the docket
prompting Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights senior projects officer
Lizwe Jamela, to apply for his removal from remand.
On the same
day, Magistrate Dube also removed Father Mkandla from remand. Magistrate
Dube had on Tuesday 27 March 2012 removed from remand, journalist
Mzwandile Ndlovu, who was charged with publishing or communicating
false statements prejudicial to the State.
removal from remand came after Jamela successfully opposed the State's
attempts to postpone the matter. The State had attempted to postpone
the matter as its house was in shambles after failing to avail in
court the authority to prosecute from the Attorney General despite
making some assurances on its existence and after the State witnesses
failed to show up in court.
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