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Judgment reserved in journalist's abduction case
MISA-Zimbabwe
September 20, 2011

Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku on 15 September 2011 reserved judgment in a case in which freelance photojournalist Andrisson Manyere and six others are seeking a declarator to confirm that their abduction and torture was an infringement of their rights.

The applicants who are facing charges of terrorism are also applying for a permanent stay of prosecution.

Chris Mutangadura, chief law officer in the Attorney General's Office, said the application should be dismissed arguing that the High Court erred in referring the matter to the Supreme Court. Mutangadura told the court that the High Court was already seized with a matter arising from the same cause of action, hence there was need to have the matter decided upon by the High Court first.

Advocate Tonderai Bhatasara who appeared for the abductees together with Alec Muchadehama, opposed the state's application. After hearing submissions from both parties the Supreme Court sitting as a Constitutional Court reserved judgment on the matter.

Background

Manyere is being charged under Section 23 (1) (2) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act which criminalises acts of insurgence, banditry, sabotage or terrorism or alternatively section 143 of the same Act which relates to aggravating circumstances in relation to malicious damage to property.

He is being charged with six other alleged Movement for Democratic Change activists Kisimusi Dhlamini, Gandhi Mudzingwa, Mapfumo Garutsa, Chinoto Zulu, Zacharia Nkomo and Regis Mujeyi.

Manyere reportedly went missing after he had taken his vehicle to a garage in Norton about 40km west of Harare on 13 December 2008 until his appearance in court on 24 December 2008.

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