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Police step up blitz against CSOs
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)

February 06, 2013

Zimbabwean police on Wednesday 6 February 2013 intensified the onslaught against civil society organisations after they raided the offices of the National Youth Development Trust (NYDT) in Bulawayo in search of some "voter registration certificates".

Four police officers, who were led by Detective Inspector Boora and who were armed with a search warrant permitting them to conduct the search, pounced on the NYDT offices at LAPF House in Bulawayo, where they confiscated some workshop schedule documents including a registration form filled in and signed by some workshop participants.

According to the search warrant which was commissioned by one Mhandu, the Officer Commanding CID Law and Order in Bulawayo, the police were supposed to search the offices and residence of Alfred Ncube, the NYDT Programmes Officer, who was not present when the raid was conducted.

The search warrant permitted the police to "look for voter registration certificates and material or information which negatively affect the State".

Lison Ncube of James, Moyo-Majwabu and Nyoni Legal Practitioners, who is a member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights attended during the raid.

In Plumtree, police on Wednesday 6 February 2013 interrogated two Habakkuk Trust leaders for allegedly inciting hatred among employees of the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) after participants who attended a meeting convened by the organisation demanded improved service delivery in the area.

Police quizzed Dumisani Nkomo, the Chief Executive Officer of Habakkuk Trust and Khumbulani Maphosa over statements related to removing some water pumps that were supplying residents with unhygienic water.

However, Nkomo and Maphosa who were represented by ZLHR member Godfrey Nyoni of Moyo and Nyoni Legal Practitioners denied the charges. Moyo will on Thursday 7 February accompany her client Bellinda Gumbo of Habakkuk Trust to Plumtree Police Station, where the police are keen to quiz her over the same allegations faced by Nkomo and Maphosa.

Meanwhile, two NYDT members, who were arrested on Monday 4 February 2013 and charged with contravening Section 40 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (Chapter 9:23) for allegedly possessing voter registration receipts were freed on Wednesday 6 February 2013 after spending two nights in police custody.

The NYDT members Brilliant Goboza (22) and Ashton Ncube (19) were freed at Lupane Magistrate Court before they appeared in court after their lawyer Charles Moyo of Moyo and Nyoni Legal Practitioners, who is a ZLHR member, challenged and convinced the prosecutor handling the matter that Goboza and Ncube had not committed any offence. On Monday 4 February 2013, Moyo had been denied access to his clients and even into the police station when he travelled to represent his clients. He was only allowed access to his clients on Tuesday 5 February 2013.

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