Madhuku Summoned To Court, Magistrate Orders Medical Treatment For Arrested Rights Activists

Right group Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said Madhuku was served the summons by two unidentified plain clothes policemen at Harare Magistrates’ Court, where he was attending the case of 45 social and human rights activists who have been charged with treason.

The police want Madhuku to appear in court on 16 March 2011 to answer charges of contravening Section 24 (1) of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) [Chapter 9:15] in that he allegedly failed to comply with an order given by the regulatory authority.

The police allege that Madhuku unlawfully organised a demonstration on 1 November 2006 at Africa Unity Square without notifying the police.

Meanwhile, lawyers were on Tuesday night searching police stations in Harare to locate the whereabouts of student leader, Tafadzwa Mugwadi, who was reportedly arrested by the police on yet unclear charges.

Meanwhile Magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi on Tuesday ordered prison authorities to allow private medical practitioners to examine and treat 45 social and human rights activists who were subjected to torture while in police custody.

Mutevedzi ordered prison authorities to allow the detainees to be attended to by doctors of their own choice after the prison doctor refused to examine and treat detainees as had been ordered by the Court.

The Magistrate said this should be done in conformity with prison regulations and the examination and treatment should be conducted at the Zimbabwe Prison Service (ZPS) institutions.

The order came after defence lawyer Alec Muchadehama advised the court that his clients were only attended to by a nurse instead of doctors as had been ordered by the court last Thursday.

Muchadehama protested that his clients were denied medical examination and treatment as had been ordered when the detainees last appeared in court last week and his clients had been exposed to life-threatening conditions as a result.

The human rights lawyer had requested that his clients be attended to by doctors of their own choice at private medical institutions or at a government hospital such as Parirenyatwa Hospital.

But Mutevedzi ordered prison officials to allow the detainees to be attended to by doctors of their choice in compliance with prison regulations.

The Magistrate deferred his ruling on an application for refusal of placement on remand for the human rights activists which was filed last Thursday and which was opposed by the State, represented by Edmore Nyazamba and Dumisani Mthombeni.

Mutevedzi said he will deliver his ruling on Monday because he will not be available in court from Wednesday up to Friday, as he would be attending to some prior commitments.