Back to Index
for solidarity: Detention of senior CSU staff
Counselling Services Unit (CSU)
November 08, 2012
Zachariah Godi and Tafadzwa Geza have just spent their third night
in the police cells, two
in Harare Central and last night in Bulawayo Central Police
Station, after an unwarranted
transfer to Bulawayo. They were transported on the back of an
open pick up truck, registration ACD 6377, with no protection from
the sun, despite the temperature reaching 33 degrees in Harare.
They were then moved to Bulawayo from Kwekwe in a twin cab ABI 3608
and arrived at 18h00. They were not interviewed by the police, but
immediately detained in the police cells on a detention order which
had been prepared in Harare.
facts of the arbitrary raid
and arrest and detention need highlighting.
Services Unit is a lawfully registered medical clinic providing
non-partisan counselling and referral to all victims of trauma.
On Monday 5
November, the clinic was threatened with violence and normal services
were disrupted by the invasion of the clinic by 12 uniformed and
non-uniformed police officers, including members of the Bomb Disposal
Squad and an Information Technology expert. The clinic was surrounded
by armed riot police who threatened to fire tear gas into the building,
which is also occupied by other tenants. Patients awaiting services
were left unattended for 4 hours while the police demanded and forcibly
accessed confidential medical records. They removed a computer which
contains confidential client information and client records. No
further booked patients were able to enter the building to receive
Services Unit adheres to the Environmental Compliance requirements
for health facilities, following the guidelines issued by the Ministry
of Health. The guidelines require separation of cleaning materials
for areas of ablution and areas of food storage and preparation.
The cleaning utensils are clearly marked using spray paint, and
the paint is stored on the premises in the work area of the janitor.
It is not hidden or stored secretively and was purchased in July
2012. CSU have handed the receipts of purchase of three 250ml cans
of spray paint from the local hardware store to the police. The
police fixated on the finding of this paint and refused to listen
to any explanation. With no further investigations, 5 staff members
were arbitrarily arrested and transported to Harare Central Police
station for further questioning. 2 staff members were released 2
hours later, and 3 have been detained since then with no warned
and cautioned statement and no indication of charges. The removal
of the 3 staff to Bulawayo after the required time for a court appearance
and the further detention order with no defined charges or substantive
evidence of illegal activities constitutes serious and illegal harassment.
Services Unit is deeply concerned about the protracted course of
this situation and the non-adherence to the law by the arresting
officers. CSU is concerned about the safety of Fidelis Mudimu, Zachariah
Godi and Tafadzwa Geza.
We would request
solidarity and protest on the following fundamental issues of this
series of events:
of medical services to victims of trauma, and the unwarranted terrorisation
of patients awaiting services
2. The illegal access to confidential patient medical records
3. The unwarranted deployment of armed riot police to the offices
creating alarm and fear to the other tenants of the building and
4. The illegal removal of a computer, which is not covered in the
search warrant which stated a "search for material likely
to deface any house, building, wall, fence, lamp post, gate or elevator
without the consent of the owner or occupier thereof".
5. The removal of confidential medical and legal records without
permission of the patients to whom they pertain.
6. The arbitrary selection of staff for arrest with no concrete
evidence of any crime having been committed, particularly in Bulawayo
where CSU has no clinic.
7. The illegal detention and transfer of senior staff to Bulawayo
without formal charges, and exceeding the time limit for appearance
before a magistrate with formal charges.
Visit the Counselling
Services Unit fact
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.