Tag Archives: Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe President’s Threats to Lawyers Criticized

February 20, 2019

FILE - Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa addresses ruling ZANU-PF party supporters in Zvimba, Robert Mugabe’s rural home, southwest of Harare, Nov. 24, 2018. (C. Mavhunga for VOA)

Zimbabwe President Emerson Mnangagwa has issued a chilling warning to lawyers and doctors who assisted victims of a deadly government crackdown on fuel protests last month.

Speaking at a rally over the weekend, Mnangagwa vowed his readiness to deploy soldiers again to thwart protesters.

The southern African nation’s main labor body, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), called the mid-January protest over a 150 percent fuel hike, urging people to stay away from businesses and commercial activities for three days.

The government has blamed the opposition MDC Alliance for violence that left 13 citizens dead and scores injured. Citing media and civil society reports, the alliance counters that security forces led the charge to loot businesses.

Mnangagwa previously had called for an investigation into the violence. But at a rally Saturday, he chillingly vowed to pursue human rights lawyers and doctors, claiming they were aiding and abetting protesters.

“We are going to hunt down lawyers and doctors who were inciting violence. We are now going after them,” the Zanu PF leader said in Rutenga, a community some 450 kilometers south of the capital, Harare.






Zimbabwe: Acts of intimidation against Mr. Okay Machisa, Ms. Beatrice Mtetwa and Pastor Evan Magwarire | Letter

February 1, 2019

Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC), a committee of lawyers and other human rights defenders, that promotes compliance with international human rights, the integrity of legal systems and the rule of law through advocacy, legal research and education. LRWC has Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

LRWC objects to Zimbabwe’s failure to respect and protect its citizens’ rights as exemplified by the increasing number of citizens who have been arrested and are facing prosecution for participating in peaceful protests. Also of concern are the numbers of lawyers and human rights defenders who have been threatened, arbitrarily detained and arrested in apparent retaliation for exercising their constitutional rights.

The right to freedom of assembly is a fundamental human right and is guaranteed in section 58 of Zimbabwe’s constitution. Furthermore, section 67 guarantees every citizen the right to political participation to engage in peaceful activities to influence, challenge or support the policies of the government. LRWC encourages you to respect these same rights as a signatory to the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Recent incidents include the acts of intimidation against Mr. Okay Machisa, National Executive Director of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) along with his family, and many other ZimRights lawyers. Also of concern is the recent arbitrary arrest and detention of Pastor Evan Magwarire on 16 January 2019, who is facing charges of “subverting a constitutional government” and is scheduled for a bail hearing on 29 January 2019. LRWC is also gravely concerned by the recently revealed attempted deportation of Beatrice Mtetwa, a prominent human rights lawyer, to her country of birth Swaziland during the 2013 harmonized election campaign, reports of rapes of women by Zimbawean security forces, the arrests and arbitrary detention of many Zimbabwe citizens and children as young as eleven years old, and the surveillance and intimidation of human rights defenders both within and outside Zimbabwe on their alleged involvement in the protest.











https://www.voaafrique.com/a/les-avocats-du-zimbabwe-reclament-justice-pour-les-manifestants-emprisonn%C3%A9s/4763583.html (FRANCAIS)

https://www.fidh.org/fr/regions/afrique/zimbabwe/zimbabwe-la-repression-des-manifestations-pacifiques-doit-cesser-les (FRANCAIS)

http://www.ludovictrarieux.org/ (FRANCAIS)

Zimbabwe/Swaziland: Mnangagwa tried to deport Beatrice Mtetwa

January 11, 2019

President Emmerson Mnangagwa led a ZANU PF election war room team that tried to deport to prominent Human Rights Lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa to her country of birth Swaziland during the height of the 2013 harmonised election campaign.

This was revealed by exiled Professor Jonathan Moyo in an expose’ on Econet Boss Strive Masiyiwa on Thursday.

Said Moyo, ” The full 2013 poll group had: Emmerson Mnangagwa (who chaired it), Dr Sydney Sekeramayi, Patrick Chinamasa (deputy chair), Nicholas Goche, Gen Constantino Chiwenga, Augustine Chihuri, Happyton Bonyongwe, Walter Tapfumaneyi, Kizito Gweshe, George Charamba  and Jonathan Moyo.

“The group’s overarching agenda was to: 1. Contain  Sadc mediation, so it does not derail 2013 elections. 2. Ensure that Parliament is dissolved by 29 June 2013  and elections are held soon thereafter. 3. Get  Econet  and diamond companies to fund elections to avoid UN funding.

“Besides the three-pronged agenda, there were other daily issues that cropped up. One was a report that lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa had blocked a police raid on Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s Bath Rd offices in Belgravia. The group decided to have Mtetwa deported but this failed.”

Beatrice, a past president of the Zimbabwean Law Society,  was arrested for “obstructing or defeating the course of justice”. She was arrested in Harare on 17 March 2013 after she asked to see the search warrant of police officers who were conducting what she called an “unlawful, unconstitutional, illegal and undemocratic” search of the home of her client.










http://www.ludovictrarieux.org/ (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prix_Ludovic-Trarieux (FRANCAIS)

Zimbabwe: Slain lawyer’s family, activists march for justice in Gweru as ‘killer’ held under house arrest

December 12, 2018

Musonza is reported to be currently under house arrest at his residence at the Josiah Tungamirai Airbase

Image result for lawyer Lucy Duve

The family of murdered Gweru lawyer Lucy Duve on Monday joined the Women’s Coalition in Zimbabwe (WCoZ) in a march demanding justice.

The march in central Harare was part of commemorations of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence.

Duve, 37, was beaten to death on November 25 allegedly by her soldier boyfriend, Tashinga Musonza, at the Josiah Tungamirai Airforce base in the Midlands city.

Musonza, 29, is said to have accused Duve of cheating on her with a fellow Airforce officer before launching a violent assault that ended with the lawyer dead.

Musonza was arrested and charged with murder, but a magistrate ruled that police had detained him beyond the constitutionally stipulated 48 hours before ordering his release.

Prosecutors can still arraign at the High Court when they are ready for trial, at which point a judge can remand him in custody.

The procession took place from the Boogey Clock near OK Supermarket where dozens of women from several civic society organisations – holding placards and Lucy’s framed pictures – marched in solidarity with the family.









Zimbabwe: Tendai Biti back in court

December 10, 2018

MDC National Chairperson Tendai Biti was back in court on Monday to answer charges of contravening the Electoral Act after he allegedly unlawfully and unofficially announced the 30 July 2018 presidential election results.

Biti pleads not guilty to the charges and the trial resumes on Tuesday after adjourning on Monday. He is being represented by a team of lawyers led by Veteran Human Rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa.

In a celebrated development Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights have obtained an order issued  Harare Magistrate Mugwagwa allowing accredited media practitioners to carry out live streaming of court proceedings during the trial of Mr. Biti.

Biti is  facing charges of announcing the just-ended 30 July election results, a mandate that is the sole duty of the electoral body, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), and declaring the MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa as the presidential race winner.

Further, Biti is being accused of having a hand in the post-election violence that saw the military intervening and shooting indiscriminately at protesters and unarmed civilians resulting in the death of six people and several injured.






Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling, people standing and stripes

On International Human Rights Day, human rights lawyer Tendai Biti goes on trial on charges of contravening the Electoral Act after he allegedly unlawfully and unofficially announced the 30 July 2018 presidential election results.

HRDs Alert
10 December 2018


HUMAN rights lawyer and opposition MDC Alliance party Vice-Chairperson Tendai Biti on Monday 10 December 2018 pleaded not guilty to charges of contravening the Electoral Act after he allegedly unlawfully and unofficially announced the 30 July 2018 presidential election results.

Biti’s trial finally commenced on Monday 10 December 2018 before Harare Magistrate Gloria Takundwa after he succeeded in having Michael Reza of the National Prosecuting Authority removed as the lead prosecutor on the basis that he was biased and unsuitable to preside over his prosecution.

After Biti pleaded not guilty to the charges of contravening the Electoral Act, his lawyers Beatrice Mtetwa, Alec Muchadehama, Gift Mtisi and Doug Coltart filed an application for exception to the charges arguing that the State had improperly split the charges from one to two that is violating section 66A(1)(a) – unofficial or false declaration of results prohibited, as well as section 66A(1)(b) – unofficial or false declaration of results prohibited.

In their application, Biti’s lawyers argued that he was served with a charge sheet that has two counts which are exactly the same and that it is unclear whether this was a deliberate improper splitting of the charges or sheer incompetence on the part of the State.

The lawyers argued that the purported charges brought against Biti do not disclose any offences.

Biti challenged the court’s jurisdiction to hear his case on the basis that he was unlawfully brought into Zimbabwe from Zambia in violation of the deportation and asylum laws of Zambia and of an order of court issued by the High Court in Zambia in breach of international law regarding the extradition of people facing offences of a political nature.
His lawyers also demanded to be furnished with some primary documents such as polling station and constituency returns known as V11 and V23 forms and to have full access to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC)’s sever, which has the entire information relating to the 2018 presidential elections.

Magistrate Takundwa postponed Biti’s trial to Tuesday 11 December 2018 to allow the State represented by Tafadzwanashe Mpariwa to respond to the human rights lawyer’s application.

Meanwhile, Magistrate Takundwa granted an application allowing accredited media practitioners to carry out live streaming of court proceedings during Biti’s trial.

Biti was arrested on 8 August 2018 after being returned from Zambia under unclear circumstances.

Prosecutors alleged that Biti, who is currently out of custody on bail, unlawfully and unofficially purportedly announced or purportedly declared that the MDC-Alliance party had won the harmonised elections held on 30 July 2018 when in actual fact ZEC officials, who are mandated to make the declaration had not yet declared the official results or winner, in contravention of the Electoral Act.

Six witnesses are scheduled to testify against Biti during the trial.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
Kodzero/Amalungelo House
No. 103 Sam Nujoma Street, Harare, Zimbabwe
Phone: (+263 8677005347, +263 242 764085/705370/708118
Email: info@zlhr.org.zw


(Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights Facebook, 10/12/18)


November 6, 2018

TWO Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) members, former Attorney-General Johannes Tomana and the Home Affairs Ministry have apologised to Mordecai Mahlangu, a human rights lawyer and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) Board Chairperson after conceding that they violated his fundamental rights when they arrested and detained him almost a decade ago.

The ZRP members namely Henry Sostein Dowa and Clever Ntini together with the Co-Home Affairs Ministers and Tomana, who served as Attorney-General then, tendered their apologies to Mahlangu last week after acknowledging that the ZLHR Board Chairperson’s arrest and detention in November 2009 was wrongful and unlawful.

In a Deed of Settlement signed on Wednesday 31 October 2018, Dowa, Ntini and the Co-Ministers of Home Affairs, who served during the coalition government of former President Robert Mugabe and the late former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai agreed to pay Mahlangu a total of $13 500 to cover his legal costs before Friday 30 November 2018.

Mahlangu was placed under arrest and spent one night at Harare Central Police Station cells in November 2009 on a trumped up charge of attempting to obstruct the course of justice. He was apprehended after he sought to highlight to the State the difficulties the authorities would encounter in using Mutare arms dealer Michael Peter Hitschmann as a State witness during the trial of the late former MDC-T legislator Roy Bennett.

Through summons filed at the High Court by his lawyers Advocate Thabani Mpofu instructed by Raymond Moyo of ZLHR, Mahlangu argued that his arrest in 2009 was not warranted as he was acting purely as a legal practitioner giving advice in accordance with his professional requirements.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
Kodzero/Amalungelo House
No. 103 Sam Nujoma Street, Harare, Zimbabwe
Phone: (+263 8677005347, +263 242 764085/705370/708118
Email: info@zlhr.org.zw

(Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights Facebook, 06/11/18)






Zimbabwe/Zambia: Mnangagwa Soldiers Brutally Assault Biti’s Lawyer, Issue Death Threats

August 21, 2018

A human rights lawyer who accompanying MDC Alliance senior official Tendai Biti when he attempted to seek refuge in Zambia was severely beaten and had his car damaged by soldiers, a court heard on Monday.

 Graciano Chiweza who was assaulted &nearly abducted at Kamfinsa shopping center

Lawyers representing Biti said the lawyer, Unite Saize, was lucky to be alive after he was attacked for trailing behind the convoy which was bringing Biti back home after his escape bid flopped.

This emerged on the final day of the cross examination of the investigating officer (IO), Jealousy Mabasa.

Beatrice Mtetwa, for Biti, asked Mabasa: “What will be your comment if I put it to you that members of your team driving from Chirundu intercepted the car of the lawyer who was accompanying the accused and deflated his car tyres before they confiscated his phone and assaulted him while ordering him to strop trailing behind their convoy?”

Mabasa, however, denied the allegations saying nothing like that happened.

“We only stopped once during our journey. We stopped in Karoi to have our tyres serviced and never stopped again until we reached Harare,” he said.

“I will urge Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to investigate that crime if it happened.”