No Court Hearing For Arrested Zim Egypt Style Protestors

The 46 who were arrested at the weekend were accused of plotting to stage mass protests in Zimbabwe that would result in the ousting of President Mugabe from power.

Their lawyer Alec Muchadehama told Radio VOP that the police formally charged all the 46 social justice and human rights activists on Tuesday afternoon. The police however failed to take them to court as the courts had closed by the time they finished working on the docket at the Attorney General (AG)’s Office.

“They (police) failed to bring them to court. The AG’s Office advised the police to look into one or two things. They are now working on obtaining warrants of further detention as they have overstayed in custody,” said Muchadehama.

The social and human rights activists who include prominent labour activist Munyaradzi Gwisai and social justice campaigner Hopewell Gumbo were arrested last Saturday by more 30 police officers who raided the venue of the discussion while they participated in an academic discussion.

Meanwhile the |Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) on Tuesday condemned their arrest and detention.

Cosatu’s International secretary, Bongani Masuku deplored the arrest in a statement.

“We continue to pledge our full solidarity with the working and struggling people of Zimbabwe at this critical time and call upon SADC and the AU to act now in support of democracy and the people’s will in Zimbabwe and everywhere else in our region and continent,” Cosatu said.

“It is no doubt that the Egyptian and Tunisian experience have inspired many workers and poor people all over the world to stand up and demand an end to dictatorship, corruption and injustice of whatever kind. It is for that very reason that we call upon all workers and poor people to overthrow all forms of oppression, occupation and injustice in their countries, as we pledge our full and unconditional support to the fighting people of Bahrain, Yemen, Morocco, and Libya in their continuing struggles for democracy and justice.”

Hosni Mubarak Egypt’s former president and Ben Ali of Tunisia were ousted from power by massive uprisings by ordinary people who wanted change after years under dictatorship. Demonstrations are on-going in Libya and Bahrain with ordinary people vowing to press ahead with their demands for the leaders in the two countries to resign.

In Zimbabwe Defence minister, Emmerson Mnangangwa and the police have warned the public against any moves for mass uprisings.