Tag Archives: Zimbabwe


August 26, 2019

Coltart was arrested last week while accompanying his clients outside the finance ministry offices.

Zimbabwean human rights lawyer Doug Coltart. Picture: Supplied.

Zimbabwe human rights lawyer Douglas Coltart on Monday said he was suing the police after he was beaten up for no reason.

Coltart was arrested last week while accompanying his clients outside the finance ministry offices. The unionists were about to hand over a petition in support of their demand for salary increases.

“I simply asked the police officers why they were arresting my clients. At that point, that’s when the police officers grabbed me. I was surrounded by about 10 police officers, they tackled me to the floor and started beating me… I sustained injuries to the head, arms and legs,” Coltart explained what happened.

Coltart was later released on bail.





Zimbabwe dissent crackdown intensifies as number of arrests increases


https://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2019/08/27/zimbabwe-amnesty-international-denonce-un-an-de-violations-des-droits-humains_5503287_3212.html (FRANCAIS)

Zimbabwe: ARTUZ members arrested for ‘pay-day protest’ charged with public nuisance

August 23, 2019

POLICE on Friday brutally crushed a wild-cat protest by the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) members who wanted to picket at the Ministry of Finance in protest over the poor salaries.

Last year ARTUZ members marched from Mutare to Harare demanding salaries in US dollars.

ARTUZ has alternatively been calling on government to review teachers’ salaries in accordance with the interbank rate the central bank introduced in February this year after floating the local currency/bond note at $2.50 against USD$.

Currently the interbank rate against local currency stands at USD$1: $8.7.

At least eight members of the union including human rights lawyer Douglas Coltart were arrested and charged with “public nuisance”. Coltart was assaulted with rubber truncheons before he was handcuffed in the process.


BREAKING: Doug Coltart, Teachers Finally Released


“We’re Extremely Worried About One Of Arrested ARTUZ Leaders” – Beatrice Mtwetwa

Watch. ..Police Harass Human Rights Lawyer


Police Bash ARTUZ Lawyer Doug Coltart






“I Was In My Underwear When They Abducted Me,”

https://www.benin24television.com/zimbabwe-un-responsable-de-lopposition-arrete-apres-des-manifestations-interdites/ (FRANCAIS)

HRDs Alert
23 August 2019


ON 23 August 2019, members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, arrested ten (10) people who include Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) members, their lawyer Doug Coltart and a journalist Leopold Munhende outside a government complex in Harare.
The ARTUZ members were arrested as they engaged in a peaceful protest dubbed “PAY FUNERAL”
Those arrested include ARTUZ President Obert Masaraure, Shepherd Tazvivinga, Gerald Tinashe Taruvinga, Tryvine Musokeri, Andrew Mungure, Nation Mudzitirwa, Simon Drury, Godfery Chanda, Doug Coltart and Munhende.
They were apprehended outside the Ministry of Finance Offices in Harare, where they intended to hand over a petition highlighting their grievances as teachers whose salaries have been severely eroded by inflation and the changes in monetary policy resulting in most teachers taking home a salary of less than an equivalent of thirty-eight United States Dollars every month.
Nine (9) of those arrested excluding Munhende (who is a journalist arrested during the course of his work) have since been charged with committing ‘Criminal Nuisance’ as provided in section 46 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act and are detained at Harare Central Police Station.
The nine are represented by Blessing Nyamaropa, Tinomuda Shoko and Beatrice Mtetwa of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.
Meanwhile, Munhende has since been released.

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, 23/08/19)

Zimbabwe: Sikhala sues police for $3 million

August 2, 2019

MDC vice-chairman Job Sikhala, who was allegedly abducted from Harare Central Police Station after his arrest on charges of subverting a constitutionally-elected government, is now suing the police for acting unlawfully and unconstitutionally.

Sikhala, through his lawyers Koto and Company, has initiated a $3 million lawsuit against Home Affairs minister Cain Mathema, Police Commissioner-General
Godwin Matanga and Superintendent Daniel Joseph of Harare Law and Order section.

“We write to you at the instance of our client (Sikhala) hereby providing you with notice of intention to institute legal proceedings against yourself, within
60 days from date of this letter as defined in terms of section 5 of the State Liabilities Act,” Sikhala’s lawyers wrote.

The lawyers said after Prosecutor-General Kumbirai Hodzi had granted his consent to have Sikhala appear before a Harare court, the police abducted him and
locked his lawyers in police cells, thereby blocking them access to him.

“Despite the consent having been obtained, the police officers, including Superintendent Daniel Joseph, locked the team of lawyers who were in the company of our client, Tendai Biti and Innocent Gonese, inside cells of Harare Central (Police Station) and refused to give them access to our client, when Joseph dragged
and smuggled our client out of Harare Central Police Station,” the lawyers said.

Sikhala alleged in his letter that he suffered insults, dehumanising treatment and a sense of shock from the actions of the police while he was blindfolded and
suffering unbearable pain.


Sikhala Files Mega-Money Lawsuit Against Police

$3M Lawsuit For Sikhala’s Abduction & Torture



Zimbabwe: MDC’s Job Sikhala released on bail in Zimbabwe coup case

July 15, 2019

The deputy chair of the Movement for Democratic Change was charged with attempting to subvert the government, a crime that carries a 20-year jail term on conviction

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Picture: REUTERS/PHILIMON BULAWAYO

A Zimbabwean opposition politician facing charges of advocating the overthrow of President Emmerson Mnangagwa was freed on bail by the high court on Monday after spending six days in detention, his lawyer said.

Job Sikhala, the deputy chair of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), was arrested last week and charged with attempting to subvert the government, a crime that carries a 20-year jail term on conviction. Sikhala, through his lawyers, has denied the charge.

Sikhala was given bail by a high court judge in Masvingo, a town 300km south of the capital, according to his lawyer, Alec Muchadehama. He will be released later on Monday after paying 5,000 Zimbabwe dollars ($570) and surrendering his passport, Muchadehama said.

The charges against Sikhala stem from a video circulating on social media, in which politicians appear to be seen and heard telling supporters at a weekend rally: “We are going to take the fight to the doorsteps of Emmerson Mnangagwa. We are going to overthrow him before 2023. That is not a joke.”


High Court frees Job Sikhala on ZW$5,000 bail as judge rejects rally ban

UPDATED: Job Sikhala granted bail

Watch Video- Crowd Bursts “Wiwa” As Job Sikhala Is Granted Bail



“Job Sikhala’s Car Tyres Stabbed”: What Is Going On?


https://information.tv5monde.com/afrique/zimbabwe-liberation-sous-caution-d-un-depute-de-l-opposition-311530 (FRANCAIS)

Zimbabwe: MDC’s Job Sikhala Appears in Court Facing Subversion Charges

July 11, 2019

Job Sikhala and his lawyers in court ...

Vice chairperson of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Job Sikhala, has appeared before a Masvingo district magistrate facing charges of subversion.

Sikhala, who was arrested Tuesday following allegations of contravening Section 22 (2) (a) of the Criminal law (Codification and Reform) Act (Chapter 9:23), was remanded in custody to July 24th.

Lead counsel Aleck Mucadahama and his team, which includes Harrison Nkomo, Douglas Mwonzora, Jeremiah Bamu and Tinomuda Shoko of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, filed a bail application at the High Court in Masvingo seeking bail for the MDC lawmaker.

A message posted on the Facebook page of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights read in part, “At Masvingo High Court, ZLHR lawyers Jeremiah Bamu and Tinomuda Shoko have filed an application seeking the release of Zengeza West MP Hon. Job Sikhala on bail after he was remanded in custody at Bikita Magistrates Court by Magistrate Marewanazvo Gofa.”.

Sikhala told the court that he was blindfolded, handcuffed and bungled into a motor vehicle on Thursday and driven from Harare to Bikita.

He claimed that he was denied food and high blood pressure medicine for two days before he appeared in court Thursday.

Magistrate Marewanazvo Gofa remanded SIkhala in custody and advised him to apply for bail at the High Court.

The state claims that Sikhala told people in Bikita recently that his party will overthrow President Emmerson Mnangagwa before the 2023 general elections.





Job Sikhala fails to appear in court, lawyers slam ZRP ‘hide and seek game’





https://afrique.lalibre.be/38851/zimbabwe-un-depute-de-lopposition-en-detention-provisoire/ (FRANCAIS)

http://jornaldeangola.sapo.ao/mundo/prisao-preventiva-para-opositor-zimbabweano (PORTUGUES)

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing and outdoor

Zimbabweans in the UK demonstrated at Chatham House during Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs minister’s visit calling for among other things the release of Job Sikhala. Job Sikhala is a prominent opposition politician, lawyer and human rights activist and is facing treason charges.

(Centre for Human Rights Defenders of Zimbabwe – CHRDZ Facebook, 12/07/19)

No photo description available.

(Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights Facebook, 11/07/19)

Zimbabwe: Authorities escalate attack on human rights defenders

May 27, 2019

Image result for Amnesty International Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean authorities have this afternoon arrested two more human rights defenders at the Harare airport in a mounting onslaught on the rights to freedom of expression and association, Amnesty International said today.

The two, Stabile Dewah (35) and Rita Nyamupinga (61), bring to seven the number of human rights defenders arrested at Robert Mugabe International Airport in the past seven days as they returned from a capacity-building workshop on non-violent protest tactics in the Maldives.

“The first five human rights defenders arrested are facing trumped up charges for exercising their human rights. They should be released immediately and unconditionally. The charges against them fit into a much wider pattern of repression we have documented in Zimbabwe,” said Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Southern Africa.

The first batch of activists – George Makoni, Tatenda Mombeyarara, Gamuchirai Mukura, Nyasha Mpahlo and Farirai Gumbonzvanda – have been accused of “plotting to overthrow President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government”. The two activists arrested today are also likely to be charged with subverting a constitutional government.

“Since January’s protests we have witnessed a mounting crackdown on human rights defenders and activists. Lawyers, journalists and even medical doctors have not been spared. Zimbabwe’s authorities have declared anyone who exercises their right to freedom expression and association an enemy of the state. This witch-hunt must stop,” said Muleya Mwananyanda.




Human Rights Defenders Charged with Plotting to Overthrow Mnangagwa’s Govt as Authorities Target More Citizens


Zimbabwe: Drama at Kwekwe magistrates courts

April 29, 2019

There was drama at Kwekwe magistrates courts on Thursday afternoon where a local lawyer was reportedly denied access to talk to his client who had been arrested by the police for an alleged foreign currency dealing.

The lawyer Lenon Mapfumo from Marufu Misi Law Chambers was allegedly bared from seeing his client Larry Munashe who was detained at Kwekwe Central Police by the two detective constables only identified as Bvaure and Chitima respectively.

When the lawyer was on his way to the police station he encountered the two police details at Kwekwe magistrates Court.

When the lawyer inquired about the reason and whereabouts of his client  demanding to see his client in line with Section 70 1 (d) of the Constitution  of Zimbabwe  which confers a right on people to be legally represented by lawyers of their own choice. A scuff ensued at the court premises.

The officers threatened to arrest Mapfumo for disturbing their peace but Mapfumo did not budge they tried to handcuff him and he resisted drawing the attention of people at the court.

Court business was brought to halt as Mapfumo wrestled with the two detectives who had to use maximum force by pinning him on the ground and dragging him to the police station.



Zimbabwe: Police arrest and release Coltart

April 29, 2019

The Zimbabwe Republic Police on Sunday arrested Zimbabwe Human Rights Lawyer Douglas Coltart and charged him with Participating in gathering with intent to promote public violence, breaches of the peace or bigotry.

Announcing on a video posted on social media on Sunday Coltart said, “I have been called for questioning at Harare Central Police this morning in connection with the meeting yesterday from which 4 teachers were abducted and beaten by CIO and later handed over to the police. Would appreciate your prayers.”

The Code says that the crime of participating in a gathering with intent to promote public violence, a breach of the peace or bigotry is committed whether the action constituting it is spontaneous or planned in advance, and whether the place or meeting where it occurred is public or private.

The human rights lawyer was however released together with the four teachers after the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights dispatched a team of legal representatives to assist in the matter.

“I’ve been released after being charged with section 37 of the Criminal Code along with Roboh, Precious, Munya and Jess.” Coltart later said in an update. “Thank you ZLHR for the excellent legal representation from Denford Halimani and Tino Shoko. Aluta Continua!”


Police arrest Human Rights Lawyer Douglas Coltart



Zimbabwe: Top rights lawyer, four teachers charged for anti-govt plot

April 28, 2019

Lawyers divided over onslaught on Judiciary

PROMINENT human rights lawyer Douglas Coltart and four teachers union leaders were Sunday charged for attending a meeting which police say was meant to strategise on committing acts of civil disobedience throughout the country.

The teachers are Robson Chere, Jess Drury, Precious Ndlovu and Munyaradzi Ndawana and are all from the militant Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) which is famous for embarking on a 275KM march last year to protest poor wages by government.

The concerned meeting which has caught the attention of the law enforcement agents is one in which the teachers were attending a Trainer of Trainers workshop at a Harare hotel Saturday.

Speaking to NewZimbabwe.com Sunday, Tinomuda Shoko, a lawyer with the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said Coltart and the four teachers were charged for allegedly violating the Criminal Law Codification Act.

“All the five were charged with strategising on disobedience and planning to participate in criminal acts,” she said.

“The police are saying they participated in a meeting and planning to commit acts of public violence and bigotry and that they there were strategising on civil disobedience.”


Human Rights Lawyer Doug Coltart Summoned By Police

WATCH: Teacher Activists “Beaten Badly” By Intelligence Officers Before Hand Over To Police, Lawyer Claims

Doug Coltart Charged And Released Together With Rural Teacher Activists

Doug Coltart Called For Questioning In Connection With A Rural Teachers Meeting Where 4 Leaders Were Abducted By CIOs

Human Right Lawyer, Doug Coltart Not Afraid Of Mnangagwa

Lawyers divided over onslaught on Judiciary


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.