ZRP INVOKES MOPO TO CURTAIL CITIZENS’ FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS


Magistrate Ruramai Chitumbura on Friday 1 July 2022 ended the two-day detention of three Institute for Young Women’s Development (IYWD) team members, who were arrested by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers for allegedly convening an unsanctioned meeting.

The three IYWD team members namely Sandra Zenda, Kudakwashe Munemo and Onai Chitakunye were arrested by ZRP officers on Wednesday 29 July 2022 and detained at Bindura Police Station before they were charged with contravening section 7(1)(b) as read with section 5 of the Maintenance of Peace and Order (MOPO) Act .

Zenda, Munemo and Chitakunye, who were represented by Idirashe Chikomba, Tinashe Chinopfukutwa and Blessing Nyamaropa of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, were accused of convening a meeting which was attended by 80 people on 29 June 2022 at Mayfair Lodge in Bindura, without giving notice in writing to Chief Superintendent Gladman Chiparaushe, the ZRP Officer Commanding Bindura District, for approval.

Victor Morrison, who had also been arrested together with the trio, was released on 30 June 2022 after he paid a fine for allegedly failing to display registration number plates on a vehicle. Morrison was also charged with contravening section 7(1)(b) of MOPO Act. He was advised by ZRP officers that he would be summoned to appear in court if the State intends to proceed with prosecuting him.

On Friday 1 July 2022, Magistrate Chitumbura set the trio free after granting them ZWL10 000 each and ordering them to continue residing at their given residential addresses and not to interfere with witnesses until the matter is finalised. They return to court on 15 July 2022.

Zenda, Munemo, Chitakunye and Morrison join dozens of people, who in recent years have been targeted by ZRP while exercising their freedom of association and assembly and accused of contravening MOPO Act.

ENDS 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 www.zlhr.org.zw FOLLOW US:@ZLHRLAWYERS ON TWITTER | ZIMBABWE LAWYERS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS ON FACEBOOK

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