Police Assault Of Activists Blight Zim’s Assumption Of SADC Chair

Harare, August 19, 2014 – A Zimbabwean legislator and six opposition
activists sustained severe injuries after they were assaulted by
police officers who arrested them when the law enforcement agents
broke an anti-government protest on Monday.
Obey Shava, one of the lawyers representing seven MDC-T supporters
including a legislator Ronia Bunjira told Harare Magistrate Vakai
Chikwekwe that his clients sustained injurious from the assault
perpetrated by some law enforcement agents who broke up a protest
organised by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party on
Monday and arrested them.
The seven MDC-T activists Keith Charumbira, Stanley Manyenga, Bridget
Nyandoro, Linnete Chibinya, Stewarty Gwebe, Danmore Tshuma together
with Bunjira on Tuesday appeared at the Harare Magistrates Court
facing charges of contravening Section 38 of the Criminal Law
(Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly obstructing or endangering
free movement of persons or traffic.
State prosecutor Barbra Ndoro claimed that the MDC-T activists threw
stones at police officers without being provoked during a
demonstration staged Monday to demand the provision of jobs which
President Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zanu PF party promised to create if
elected during the run-up to last year’s general elections, which he
later won.  Ndoro charged that one police officer only identified as
Constable Ndoro sustained some injuries on his face and back during
some skirmishes with the MDC-T party youths.
Shava, who was assisted by Hopewell Chitima of Mbidzo, Makoni and
Muchadehama Legal Practitioners told Magistrate Chikwekwe that two of
his clients Stewarty Gwebe and Barbra Nyandoro were badly injured as a
result of the assault and sustained head injuries, back injuries, hip
dislocations and swollen legs.
Shava said he feared the worst for his clients who could have suffered
internal bleeding as a result of the brutal assault which the police
officers perpetrated using truncheons.
“The internal bleeding as a result of cerebral haemorrhage may lead to
the death of one or more of the accused persons which is actually our
fear which could result in the court remanding potential corpses if
the accused persons are not treated,” said Shava.
Shava, a member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights asked Magistrate
Chikwekwe to issue an order directing the State to investigate the
assault claims, an application which was opposed by the Ndoro, who
strangely claimed that the MDC-T activists could have sustained
injuries after assaulting each other  while detained in police
custody.
Ndoro later pledged to conduct investigations into the assault claims
and promised to table the State’s findings in September.
The MDC-T activists were remanded to Wednesday when their lawyers will
file a bail application for their release from prison custody.