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Police renew onslaught against tormented Mukoko
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)

March 07, 2013

Police have renewed their onslaught against prominent human rights campaigner Jestina Mukoko by summoning her to report at Harare Central Police Station for allegedly operating an “unregistered” organisation.

Detective Chief Inspector Run’anga and Chief Superintendent Charles Ngirishi on Wednesday 06 March and 07 March 2013 telephoned Mukoko’s lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, summoning her to report at Harare Central Police Station to answer charges of running an “unregistered” organisation.

However, Mtetwa advised Run’anga that the Zimbabwe Peace Project’s board had resolved that it be represented by Dr Solomon Zwana, the organisation’s chairperson and not by Mukoko, since she is simply an employee of ZPP and that she could not answer registration queries as she does not have board authority to speak or act on behalf of ZPP.

However, Run’anga insisted that the police were interested in having Mukoko at their “offices”.

Mtetwa also advised Run’anga that ZPP is a registered organisation and had provided its registration papers and Constitution to the police last month.

In her conversations with the police Mtetwa also reminded them that Mukoko has been a victim of State sponsored torture following her abduction by State security agents in December 2008, where she later miraculously found herself in the custody of officers from the CID’s Law and Order Section at Harare Central Police Station, who have to date refused to disclose how she had come into their custody and who her captors and tormentors were.

Last month, the police raided the ZPP offices in Harare’s Hillside suburb and seized several documents and other materials after searching the organisation’s offices for “subversive material and illegal immigrants”.

The police officers who carried out the raid charged that there were reasonable grounds that the 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 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 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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