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.
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.”
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.
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.
August 27, 2017
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.
August 4, 2017
The Honorable Robert Gabriel Mugabe
The President of the Democratic Republic of Zimbabwe
Re: Concerns over Constitution Amendment Bill (No.1) and judicial independence in Zimbabwe.
The undersigned bar associations and organizations concerned with the rule of law respectfully write to note our grave concern over the future of the independence of the judiciary in Zimbabwe. We are a group of independent regional and international bar associations and organizations committed to advancing the rule of law and the independence of the legal profession worldwide. In particular, we are concerned by current attempts to amend the Constitution of Zimbabwe (the Constitution) through Constitution Amendment Bill (No. 1) Bill, 2017 (H.B. 1, 2017) (the Bill) in a manner that will decrease transparency and independence in the selection of judges.
The Bill, particularly Section 6, amends Section 180 of the Constitution and introduces a new appointment process for the Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice and Judge President of the High Court. The current process provides for the selection of all judges through a system of public nomination and interviews, conducted by the Judicial Services Commission, after which shortlisted candidates are sent to the President for final selection. The Bill seeks to replace this process and instead grant the President the sole discretion to appoint individuals to these three specific offices, which are the highest and most influential positions in the judiciary. On July 25, 2017, the Lower House of Parliament passed the Bill. It will next go before the Senate for further scrutiny and, if passed, it will fall to your Excellency to veto or sign it into law. We write to urge you to exercise your veto power to avoid the appearance of a politicized judiciary.
Numerous civil society organizations in Zimbabwe, including the Law Society of Zimbabwe, have expressed deep concern that this Bill, if passed, will erode the current system for the selection of judges, which is based on the constitutionally enshrined principle of separation of powers and is meant to ensure an independent and impartial judicial system. An independent judiciary is a vital check and balance in a democratic society and essential to maintaining the rule of law.
November 18, 2016
Prominent Zimbabwe lawyer Fadzayi Mahere was among a number of anti-government activists arrested on Friday in central Harare – even though they weren’t actually marching against President Robert Mugabe‘s government, the #ThisFlag protest movement said.
Critics of Mugabe had planned a march to demonstrate against the bank notes his central bank is intent upon introducing later this month – but police turned out in force to stop activists taking to the streets, it is understood.
Mahere and others were “sitting quietly” when they were arrested in Africa Unity Square, which is near parliament, according to @ThisFlag1980, the protest movement begun by a Harare pastor earlier this year.
They were later taken to Harare Central Police Station, eyewitnesses say.
Mahere, a Cambridge – and University of Zimbabwe- trained lawyer, posted a selfie earlier on Friday with the words: “We come in peace! Africa Unity Square
August 3, 2016
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR have come under attacked for representing arrested war veterans leaders but turned a blind eye on Paul Siwela and John Gazi who where facing treason charges.
The lawyers, last week jumped to represent war veterans spokesperson Douglas Mahiya.
They managed to secure a $300 bail for Mahiya.
The lawyers have also taken upon themselves to represent the associations secretary-general Victor Matemadanda, national Vice Chairperson Headman Sibanda and Hoyini Samuel Bhila, ZNLWVA’s Vice Chairperson for Harare province after the two handed themselves to detectives at Harare Central Police Station’s Law and Order Section.
ZLHR defended its move with the group’s chairperson Beatrice Mtetwa insisting the organisation was apolitical.
Mtetwa said her organisation was apolitical, adding that they would readily deploy lawyers from the independent stable to defend people who are apparently being persecuted for their political positions.