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Police arrest prospective voters over registration receipts
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)

February 05, 2013

Police in Lupane, Matabeleland North Province, have arrested two National Youth Development Trust (NYDT) members and charged them with contravening Section 40 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (Chapter 9:23) for allegedly possessing voter registration receipts.

The NYDT members Brilliant Goboza (22) and Ray Ncube (19) were arrested on Monday 4 February 2013 in Lupane and charged with "possession of articles for criminal use" contravention of Section 40 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (Chapter 9:23) after they were allegedly found with a number of receipts issued at the Registrar General's Office when one registers as a voter. Initially, the police detained 40 people who were later released leaving Goboza and Ncube in custody.

Goboza and Ncube are represented by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights member Charles Moyo of Moyo and Nyoni Legal Practitioners, who was denied access to his clients on Monday 4 February 2013 and even into the police station when he visited the volatile area to represent his clients. Moyo was only allowed access to his clients on Tuesday 5 February 2013.

The police indicated that the two NYDT members will be taken to court on Wednesday 6 February 2013.

The arrest and detention of Goboza and Ncube comes barely one week after the release of ZimRights director Okay Machisa from prison. Machisa, who was freed on bail, was 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, a charge which he denies. His arrest followed the apprehension of Leo Chamwahwinya, the ZimRights Deputy 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 on similar charges.

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