By Johannes Chin’ombe
Masvingo, August 30, 2016 – A local court has freed a seven member group of human rights activists who were arrested on Monday during the launch of the newly formed Masvingo pressure group, #Tasvinura.
The group arrested on Monday comprised rights defenders Prosper Tiringindi, Hardlife Tangai and Brighton Ramusi.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights lawyer Martin Mureri, who was dispatched to secure the activists’ release, said the group was granted free bail with the state advised to proceed by way of summons.
“All of them have been released and the state will proceed by way of summons,” Mureri later said Tuesday.
“They are being charged for participating in public violence but as defence council, we are arguing that the accused people were just standing in the park by the time of their arrest. They never participated or incited any violence.”
Masvingo Civil Society Organisations were recently granted permission by the courts to hold demonstrations over the worsening economic situation in the country.
This is after a police directive that barred them from protesting against bad governance.
One of the pressure group organisers, Anoziva Muguti also said he was amazed by the police action to arrest people who had never been involved in any act of violence.
“There was no violence at all yet the police said they arrested them for participating in violent actions,” Muguti said.
“Arresting activists is just a way of trying to instil fear on demonstrating pressure groups. It is however too late for such actions as people are now determined to see justice after decades of misgovernance and plundering of public resources by the politically connected few.”