Tag Archives: Zimbabwe

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

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.”





Zimbabwe: Tourism Boss Acquitted On Lawyer Assault Charge – Court Says Allegations Fabricated

July 26, 2018

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive Karikoga Kaseke was Wednesday found not guilty of assaulting and insulting a Harare lawyer.

Kaseke walked out of court a free man after Harare magistrate Nyasha Vhitorini ruled that there was an issue of bad blood between him and complainant Philipa Magnify Philips.

The court also said that witness’s testimonies were inconsistent with the allegations making it difficult to believe the testimonies.

“Witnesses statements were not coherent and they all told court different narratives rendering allegations a fabrication,” ruled the magistrate.

Kaseke was acquitted at the close of State’s case after a successful application by his lawyer Nomsa Sabarauta who argued that the allegations were fabricated to tarnish her client’s image.

Kaseke had insisted that he never laid his hand on Philips and further argued that he was the victim.

He also said the lawyer fabricated charges against him because she was linked to the former family of former president Robert Mugabe.

Mugabe’s wife, Grace, had reportedly targeted Kaseke for supporting eventual successor Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Complainant Philips had told court Kaseke was a violent person adding that this was common knowledge as he was always in the media over related issues.



Zimbabwe: Fadzayi Mahere Arrested

October 29, 2017

Police yesterday arrested aspiring Mt Pleasant independent candidate Fadzai Mahere at a soccer tournament she had organised as part of her campaign activities in the constituency.

Mahere, a sharp critic of the ruling Zanu PF government, recently launched her electoral bid for 2018 harmonised elections.

She was picked by police at Groombridge Primary School where her Shanduko soccer tournament was being hosted.

Although police were not immediately available for comment, one of her campaign team members Nyasha Musandu said Mahere was at the Harare Central Police Station at the time of going to print .

“Right now she hasn’t been charged, so we don’t know the reason why they picked her,” Musandu said.







Zimbabwe: Police In Soup For Beating Lawyer, Soldier At Roadblock

August 27, 2017

Lucy Rumbidzai Chivasa

A group of about five Police officers based at Charandura Police Station are in hot soup after a lawyer made a report that they were drinking beer and beating up people at a roadblock mounted at Chaka Business Centre near Mvuma on Sunday evening.

The matter has been reported at Masvingo Central Police Station under CR Number 70/08/17.

The drunk officers who refused to identify themselves as required by the law allegedly assaulted a man driving a South African registered Iveco minibus while his hands were handcuffed at his back. The Mirror is told that they also beat up Lucy Chivasa, a human rights lawyer with the Legal Resources Foundation when she tried to give the man who was being beaten her business card.

A soldier who was in military uniform fled the scene after he discovered that the man he had just assaulted at the road block was his senior in the Zimbabwe National Army. The Mirror is informed that the senior soldier who was a passenger in the Iveco disembarked after seeing a uniformed soldier beating up civilians alongside Police officers.

He then ordered the uniformed soldier to stop what he was doing but the former slapped the senior soldier. The Mirror is told that the youthful soldier fled the scene and boarded a haulage truck that was pulling out of the bus stop after his senior produced an identity card and showed him.

The officers are also accused of beating Chivasa’s young sister Lilian Idaishe Chivasa and another unidentified passenger for allegedly recording the beating and her phones were crushed on the tarmac.

Efforts to get a comment from Midlands Police Spokesprson, Ethel  Mukwande were fruitless as she was out of her office. Chivasa confirmed the incident to The Mirror and described the Police officers’ behaviour as ghastly.