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intensify systematic clampdown on CSOs with raid on ZPP
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
February 11, 2013
on Monday 11 February 2013 intensified their systematic crackdown
on civil society organisations by raiding the offices of the Zimbabwe
Peace Project (ZPP) and seized several documents and other materials.
of the Zimbabwe Republic Police led by Detective Assistant Inspector
C. Nyoni stormed the ZPP offices in Harare's Hillside suburb,
where they searched the organisation's offices for "subversive
material and illegal immigrants".
The five police
officers from the Criminal Investigation Department stationed at
Harare Central Police Station's Law and Order Section, who
included Detective Assistant Inspector Ben Justen, Nyabuwa, Mugogodi
and Mapara were armed with a search warrant issued by Superintendent
Jeremiah Murenje which permitted the search for "subversive
material, documents, gadgets, recordings and illegal immigrants".
The police officers
charged that there were reasonable grounds that the Jestina Mukoko-led
ZPP was in possession of some articles which the organisation intended
to use for criminal use in contravention of Section 40 of the Criminal
Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
The police also
suspected ZPP, which was once raided in December 2008, to have contravened
the Immigration Act by permitting some unidentified illegal immigrants
to enter the country without a work permit and to have smuggled
some undisclosed goods in breach of Section 182 (1) of the Customs
and Excise Act.
After the three-hour
raid and search, which occurred in the presence of Zimbabwe Lawyers
for Human Rights (ZLHR) lawyers Beatrice Mtetwa, Gift Mtisi and
Tawanda Zhuwarara, who monitored the situation, the police seized
some documents and other items such as mobile phone handsets, wind
up radios, files with donor information, political violence reports
and DVD's. No-one was arrested but the police indicated that
they were going to "study" the information.
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