Tawanda Zhuwarara and Jeremiah Bamu of the Zimbabwe Lawyers of Human Rights (ZLHR), representing Mwonzora on Thursday issued an alert advising that Mwonzora could not be located at the police station where he had been detained on Wednesday evening.
The lawyers were informed on Thursday morning by the Officer in Charge of Nyanga Police Station-only identified as Nyamutukudzi-that Mwonzora was not detained at the police station.
“This was despite the fact that the lawyers had seen him detained in cells there the previous evening,” ZLHR said in an alert issued Thursday.
The lawyers have since mounted a search for Mwonzora at Nyamaropa Police Station in Nyanga and other nearby police stations.
ZLHR said Nyanga police have indicated that Mwonzora’s case is being handled by detectives from CID Law and Order Section at Mutare Police Station, who were reportedly hitch-hiking from Mutare to Nyanga.
“These intentional delays seem aimed at ensuring that the MP remains in custody beyond the legally prescribed 48-hour period,” said ZLHR.
On Wednesday Zhuwarara and Bamu assisted Mwonzora to record a warned and cautioned statement at Nyanga Police Station after being escorted by armed guards to Nyamaropa village for indications at the scene, where the police allege that he committed the crime of public violence.
During the trip to Nyamaropa village, ZLHR said Mwonzora was driven in a Nissan Wolf twin-cab with broken registration number plates in front and with no registration number plates at the back.
The COPAC co-chairperson was arrested by three policemen outside Parliament Building on Tuesday and briefly detained at Harare Central Police Station before being transferred to Rhodesville Police Station, for overnight detention until Wednesday morning when he was transferred to Nyanga Police Station, where he was charged with violating section 36(1)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for public violence.