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Director endures second night in detention as lawyer faults State
for fixing him
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
Janaury 15, 2013
Human Rights Association (ZimRights) Director, Okay Machisa
will on Tuesday 15 January 2013 endure a second night in detention
after Harare Magistrate Tendai Mahwe dismissed his application for
refusal of remand while his lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa faulted the State
for fixing him through arbitrary detention.
Magistrate Mahwe dismissed
an application for refusal of remand filed by Mtetwa, who had noted
some inconsistencies on the State's Request for Remand form,
which did not make any reference to his involvement in the alleged
commission of forgery, fraud and communicating and publishing falsehoods
prejudicial to the State as put by State prosecutor Michael Reza.
the State claimed represented ZimRights as an institution even though
he had not been mandated to do so by the organisation's board
was on Monday 14 January 2013 charged
with contravening Section 31, 136 and 137 of the Criminal
Law (Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly attempting to
defraud the Registrar General's Office by forging and manufacturing
counterfeit copies of certificates of voter registration. The State
also attempted to link the commission of the offence to the charges
faced by Leo
Chamwahwinya, the ZimRights Education Programmes Manager, who
was arrested on 13
December 2012 together with Dorcas Shereni, the ZimRights Highfields
Local Chapter Chairperson and Farai Bhani and Tatenda Chinaka.
In her application
in a case which spilled into Tuesday evening and which at one time
Mtetwa applied for the dismissal of the matter for want of prosecution,
the feisty human rights lawyer argued that Machisa would be severely
prejudiced by a fatally defective Request for Remand Form which
did not list factual allegations against the Crisis
in Zimbabwe Coalition chairperson except those related to ZimRights
as an organisation. Mtetwa argued that the State should be ordered
to put its house in order while Machisa should be freed and summoned
to appear in court once the State papers are in order.
But State prosecutor
Reza, who apologized for delaying court proceedings after he deliberately
absented himself without notice in the afternoon, opposed Mtetwa's
application and argued that the State had made an amendment to the
Request for Remand to list Machisa as accused Number One while ZimRights
is now considered as Accused Number Two.
Magistrate Mahwe then
dismissed Machisa's application for refusal of remand and
remanded the ZimRights director in custody to Wednesday 16 January
2013 at 08:30 am pending the application for bail.
the ZLHR fact
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