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Rights NGO Forum director in court 25 July - Court Watch 13/2012
July 24, 2012
Human Rights NGO Forum Director Abel Chikomo in Court 25th July
Time: 8.30 am.
Court No. 5, Magistrates Court, Rotten Row.
This case is
of wide interest and importance for human rights activists and the
director of the Zimbabwe
Human Rights NGO Forum [HR NGO Forum], will be in Harare Magistrates
Court tomorrow to answer a charge of contravening the Private
Voluntary Organisations Act [PVO Act]. The defence lawyer is
Mr Selby Hwacha.
HR NGO Forum
This is a coalition
of nineteen human rights NGOs in Zimbabwe which, while having their
own objectives, are all concerned with the level and nature of organized
violence and torture in the country. Its Public Interest Unit, which
undertakes legal proceedings on behalf of victims of organised violence
and torture, currently has over 700 active cases that are before
the magistrates court, High Court and Supreme Court.
The charge is
that Mr Chikomo manages an unregistered private voluntary organisation
knowing that it carries on its activities without having registered
in terms of the PVO Act. That is an offence under section 6(3) of
denies having contravened the PVO Act
Mr Chikomo denies
that the HR NGO Forum, as a common law universitas [association
with legal personality distinct from its members] that is recognized
by section 89 of the Constitution,
is required to register under the Act.
delivery of documents to the Defence
State only supplied the defence with the witnesses’ statements
this afternoon, 24th July, the defence is ready to proceed with
makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take
legal responsibility for information supplied
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