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arrest Tsunga and step up blitz on MDC-T political campaign rallies
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
July 19, 2013
have arrested human rights lawyer Arnold Tsunga, who is the MDC-T
aspiring parliamentary candidate for Dangamvura-Chikanga constituency
together with his campaign team after accusing them of embarking
on an unlawful procession in the high-density suburb.
Human rights lawyers
Tinoziva Bere, a senior partner at Bere Brothers Legal Practitioners
and Passmore Nyakureba of Maunga Maanda and Associates Legal Practitioners,
who are all members of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR),
are representing Tsunga and his campaign team. They are currently
detained at Dangamvura Police Station and the police have indicated
their intention to transfer them to Mutare Central Police Station.
In Harare, police banned
another human rights lawyer, Jacob Mafume, who is the aspiring legislator
for Harare South constituency from holding a campaign rally at an
open space in Southlea Park suburb on Saturday 20 July 2013.
In a letter dated Wednesday
17 July 2013 and addressed to Darren Burutu, Mafume's election agent,
Chief Superintendent B. Ncube, the Officer Commanding Police in
Mbare District charged that the convenors of the campaign rally
should first secure a letter from a person, who was given an offer
letter for the area in which Southlea Park suburb is situated. Ncube
said police cannot sanction the rally as there are probabilities
of a clash with an unnamed person holding the offer letter for Southlea
ban of the campaign rally prompted Mafume’s lawyers Tawanda
Zhuwarara and Bellinda Chinowawa from ZLHR to file an ex-parte appeal
at the Harare Magistrates (Civil) Court seeking to overturn the
police interdict as the police acted unlawfully in prohibiting the
In their application,
the lawyers argued that the reason proffered by Chief Superintendent
Ncube as the motive behind prohibiting the meeting is not permissible
at law. The human rights lawyers further argued that there is no
provision in the Public
Order and Security Act which places an obligation on a convenor
of a political rally to obtain permission or authority from a person
given an offer letter in the area that he intends to convene a meeting.
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