82 year old Zimbabwean villager wallows in Remand Prison

Nyanga, – An 82 year-old villager is among the 24 detainees who are languishing in remand prison after High Court Judge Justice Susan Mavangira on Wednesday postponed the hearing of an appeal filed by the Attorney General (AG)’s Office challenging a bail order granted to the Nyanga villagers.\r\n

Rwisai Nyakauro aged 82 years, who resides in Nyakauro Village is among 24 detainees who are detained at Mutare Remand Prison including Nyanga North Member of Parliament and Constitution Select Committee (COPAC) co-chairperson Douglas Mwonzora pending the consideration of an appeal against their bail order, which was granted on Monday 21 February by Magistrate Ignatio Mhene.

Justice Mavangira presided over the appeal hearing on Wednesday after defence lawyers took the extraordinary task of collecting the record of proceedings from Nyanga Magistrates Court and transcribed it for the Judge after she had noted that the record of proceedings was incomplete as some pages were missing.

The Judge postponed the hearing of the appeal to Thursday to allow Edmore Nyazamba, a law officer from the AG’s Office to respond to some point raised by Hon. Mwonzora and the villagers’ lawyers Trust Maanda of Maanda and Maunga Legal Practitioners and Tawanda Zhuwarara and Jeremiah Bamu of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).

The villagers’ lawyers pointed out that the State’s appeal was not properly filed before Justice Mavangira as Nyazamba had not served a copy on Magistrate Mhene in conformity with High Court bail rules to allow him to make a comment if he so wished.

In his submissions Nyazamba argued that the bail order should be withdrawn because Magistrate Mhene misdirected himself by granting bail to the villagers.

Defence lawyers insisted that Magistrate Mhene had not erred in granting bail to Hon. Mwonzora and the villagers and hence the State’s appeal should be dismissed.

In Chinhoyi, police on Wednesday detained and quizzed two employees of Youth Dialogue Action Network and suppressed a meeting organized by ZLHR on human rights and constitutionalism.

Police detained Owen Dhliwayo, the board chairperson of Youth Dialogue Action Network and Catherine Mukwapati, the organisation’s coordinator, who had partnered ZLHR in organising a training on human rights and constitutionalism for human rights defenders in Chinhoyi, Mashonaland West province.

Dhliwayo and Mukwapati were taken by the police from a church building at United Church of Christ (UCCZ), where the training was underway and detained at Chemagamba police station for four hours.

About 60 human rights defenders from various organisations had attended the meeting which was disrupted by the police, two hours into the meeting.

The police, who detained Dhliwayo and Mukwapati from 10:00 am to 14:00 pm took note of their identity numbers and residential addresses and advised them that they were going to make a follow up with them for allegedly organizing the meeting in Chinhoyi.

The police were reportedly interested in “quizzing” Tineyi Mukweva, a programmes assistant of ZLHR.