The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZHLR) said Thursday that the AG’s office was trying to lay charges on Muchadehama linked to the release of the prisoners.
“Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) is dismayed and deeply saddened to learn about the machinations of the Attorney General’s (AG) Office and some police officers in plotting to arrest human rights lawyer Alec Muchadehama for allegedly facilitating the improper release of three political detainees, Andrison Manyere from Chikurubi Maximum Prison and Gandhi Mudzingwa, Kisimusi Dhlamini,” ZLHR said in a statement.
ZLHR said as part of the plot, several law officers and defence lawyers are also being targeted.
“ZLHR is reliably informed that Justice Bhunu’s clerk and the Assistant Registrar, who signed the Warrant of Liberation for Manyere, Mudzingwa and Dhlamini on 17 April 2009, which caused their discharge from prison were interrogated for several hours by Chief Inspector Henry Dowa,” said ZHLR.
Dowa was in 2003 withdrawn from the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Kosovo owing to his past involvement in human rights abuses and torture in Harare.
“ZLHR is also aware that certain law officers in the AG’s Office are being forced to implicate defence lawyers for improperly aiding the discharge of the three political prisoners from Chikurubi Maximum Prison,” said ZLHR.
Dhlamini, Manyere and Mudzingwa have been held in detention since November 2008. High Court Judge, Justice Charles Hungwe, granted them bail on Thursday 9 April 2009. However, the order was suspended for 7 days following the invocation of Section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act (CPEA) by the AG’s office, preventing the three from regaining their freedom.
The State however failed to comply with the mandatory provisions of Section 121 of the CPEA, as they did not file their appeal within the prescribed time limits.
The suspension of the Order granting bail to the three political detainees therefore fell away and the Order of the High Court became active by operation of the law. The three political prisoners were released on bail in terms of the Order granted on 09 April 2009 by Justice Hungwe.
They were later re-arrested. A bail application for the three will be heard Friday.