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Police arrest five CSU employees and photo-journalist in fresh crackdown against NGOs
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)

November 05, 2012

Zimbabwean police on Monday 5 November 2012 resumed their crackdown against Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO)'s by arresting five employees of the Counselling Services Unit (CSU).

About 20 police officers led by Detective Assistant Inspector Henry Dowa and Detective Assistant Inspector Murira raided the CSU offices around lunch time, armed with a search warrant justifying their raid as aimed to recover "offensive and subversive material" from the organisation's offices in Harare.

The police arrested Fidelis Mudimu, Zachariah Godi, James Zidzimu, Tafadzwa Gesa and Penn Bruno whom they have taken into custody at Harare Central Police Station.

According to the search warrant, a copy of which is in possession of ZLHR, the police officers claim to be convinced that the CSU is in possession of material that "defaces any house, building, wall, fence, lamp post, gate, elevator without the consent of the owner or occupier thereof," in contravention of section 46 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

Lawyers Tarisai Mutangi, Kennedy Masiye and Tonderai Bhatasara, who are members of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and Blessing Gorejena, Tafadzwa Christmas and Aretha Dzingirai of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, are representing the CSU employees.

The police officers confiscated a computer and some documents from the CSU offices.

The raid on the CSU offices follows that of the Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe whose offices were twice raided in August after the police claimed that the organisation and its leaders were in "possession of pamphlets and fliers with information that promotes homosexuality for distribution".

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