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Lawyers protest inhuman treatment of CSU reps as Magistrate ends their four-day detention ordeal
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)

November 08, 2012

Bulawayo Magistrate Learnmore Mapiye on Thursday 08 November 2012 ended the four-day detention ordeal for three Counselling Services Unit (CSU) representatives who were finally charged with causing malicious damage to property, in contravention of Section 140 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, four days after their arrest on Monday.

Magistrate Mapiye granted bail of $100 each to the CSU senior employees, Fidelis Mudimu, Zachariah Godi, and Tafadzwa Geza after they were finally appeared at Bulawayo's Tredgold Magistrates Court on Thursday afternoon after their transfer from Harare to the country's second largest city on Wednesday.

As part of their bail conditions, Magistrate Mapiye ordered the three to surrender their passports to the Clerk at Harare Magistrates Courts and to report once every week on Mondays to CID Law and Order section at Harare Central Police Station.

The lawyers, who represented the three CSU senior officers registered their complaints against the inhuman and degrading treatment that their clients were subjected to including over detention, being shackled while being moved from Kwekwe to Bulawayo, denial to wear spectacles while in Bulawayo police cells and the raiding of the CSU offices on the strength of a defective search warrant.

The lawyers included Dr Tarisai Mutangi, Godfrey Nyoni, Blessing Gorejena, Lizwe Jamela, Jeremiah Mutongi Bamu and Nosimilo Chanayiwa, who are all ZLHR members.

According to State prosecutor Marlvin Nzombe, the three CSU representatives together with some unidentified individuals smeared some MDC graffiti on an information centre located in Mpopoma high density suburb in Bulawayo 07 October 2012 in contravention of Section 140 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act. The State claimed that the CSU senior staff members inscribed the words "MDC" and "MDC Chinja Ndizvo" on a bill board and on a durawall surrounding the information centre.

Mudimu, Godi and Geza were arrested on 5 November 2012 together with James Zidzimu and Penn Bruno after the police raided the CSU offices in search of "offensive and subversive material" from the organisation's offices in Harare. Zidzimu and Bruno were later released on Monday evening.

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