Mutare, September 3, 2013 – A Zimbabwean court has freed prominent human rights lawyer and MDC-T Member of Parliament-elect Arnold Tsunga together with 49 other party supporters who were arrested on the eve of the harmonised elections.
Tsunga, who will represent Dangamvura-Chikanga constituency in Manicaland served as deputy Chairperson of Radio VOP’s Board of Trustees prior to venturing into politics and some of his loyalists were set to undergo trial on Tuesday at Mutare Magistrates Court on charges of contravening the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
But the trial could not proceed after state prosecutors withdrew charges before plea for want of evidence.
The MDC-T supporters were arrested in July and charged with committing criminal nuisance in contravention of Section 46 (2) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act. They had been exercising their political rights right to association and expression after conducting a door to door political campaign on the eve of the harmonised elections.
The human rights lawyer, who was represented by Tinoziva Bere of Bere Brothers Legal Practitioners, Blessing Nyamaropa of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and Passmore Nyakureba on Maunga Maanda Legal Practitioners overcame a challenge from Giles Mutsekwa from the MDC-T party which fielded two candidates for the same constituency and Zanu PF’s Milcah Duru, together with some lesser contestants from the MDC, Mavambo/Dawn/Kusile’s and independent candidates.
Tsunga is among several other human rights lawyers who will serve in Zimbabwe’s eighth Parliament including Tendai Biti, Innocent Gonese and Brian Tshuma.