Annual Report: Zimbabwe 2010

Report
May 28, 2010

Annual Report: Zimbabwe 2010

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  • At least 18 political prisoners were held on what were believed to be trumped-up charges brought by the former ZANU-PF government. On 2 March, Jestina Mukoko and Broderick Takawira were bailed and released after spending three months in custody. Thirteen others were subsequently released on bail. Three - Gandhi Mudzingwa and Kisimusi Dhlamini, both MDC-T officials; and Andrison Manyere, a journalist - were granted bail on 9 April. The authorities opposed the bail but failed to file an appeal within the seven-day period stipulated by Section 121 of the CPEA. The three were released on 17 April only to be redetained within days by police. Gandhi Mudzingwa and Kisimusi Dhlamini remained in hospital receiving treatment for injuries sustained by torture in custody. They were finally granted bail on 13 May and released. All the detainees needed treatment as a result of torture and other ill-treatment in custody.
  • The trial of Jestina Mukoko and 17 other victims of abduction in 2008 started at the beginning of the year. However, on 28 September the Supreme Court ordered a permanent stay to the criminal prosecution against Jestina Mukoko on the grounds that state security agents had violated her constitutional rights.
  • Seven members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), all of them women, were arrested in Bulawayo on 17 June and denied access to their lawyers after participating in a peaceful demonstration. The next day, while Amnesty International's Secretary General was holding a press conference at the Meikles Hotel in Harare, four WOZA activists, a cameraman from the state-owned Herald newspaper and an independent journalist were arrested and beaten by police about 50 metres from the hotel. The WOZA activists were denied access to medical treatment as a punishment for their activism and detained overnight. The independent journalist and cameraman were released the same day.
  • On 5 August, four student leaders from the Zimbabwe National Students Association - Clever Bere, Kudakwashe Chakabva, Archieford Mudzengi and Brian Rugodo - were arrested at the University of Zimbabwe for distributing T-shirts. They were charged with contravening the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform Act) by participating in a gathering with intent to promote public violence, breach of the peace and "bigotry". They were released on bail on 7 August.
  • On 25 October, Cephas Zinhumwe, the Executive Director of the National Association for NGOs (NANGO), and Dadirai Chikwengo, NANGO board chairperson, were arrested in the town of Victoria Falls after NANGO convened a workshop for NGO directors. The two were released on bail on 27 October charged with contravening the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) for allegedly failing to notify the regulating authority of an intention to hold a "public political gathering". They were acquitted on 25 November.
  • On 28 October, Thulani Ndhlovu and Ndodana Ndhlovu from the Zimbabwe Election Support Network were arrested in Dete, Hwange District. They were charged under the POSA for holding meetings allegedly without police clearance. Ndodana Ndhlovu was released on the day of arrest, while Thulani Ndhlovu was released on bail on 30 October.
  • On 8 November, Lovemore Matombo, President of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), together with four other ZCTU activists - Michael Kandukutu, Percy Mcijo, Dumisani Ncube and Nawu Ndlovu - were arrested in the town of Victoria Falls after holding a trade union meeting. They were charged under the POSA for organizing what the state alleged was an illegal meeting. They were released on 12 November when the case was dismissed by a magistrates' court.
  • On 20 November, 32 activists from Gweru appeared before a magistrates' court. They had been arrested in December 2008 after participating in a peaceful demonstration and charged under the POSA.