Andy Moyse arrested

MMPZ Project Coordinator Andrew Moyse was this morning (at about 1130hrs) picked up from the organisation’s offices by a team of five police officers from Harare’s Law and Order Section led by Detective Assistant Inspector Phiri.

The officers were armed with a search warrant and proceeded to search MMPZ offices for “material which comprises of compact disks containing Gukurahundi information”. In terms of the search warrant, the police purport that they have reasonable grounds to believe that MMPZ officers may have acted in breach of section 31 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, that is, “publishing or communicating false statements prejudicial to the state”.

Pursuant to the search warrant, the police then took possession of 127 DVDs produced by MMPZ essentially calling upon the media to contribute to peaceful elections through fair, accurate and balanced coverage of election campaigns by Zimbabwean political parties. Whilst the police officers indicated that Andrew was not formally under arrest, MMPZ is concerned that the police may detain him to investigate a matter whose circumstances and gravity do not at all warrant pre-trial detention.

MMPZ urges the police to grant Andrew Moyse all his pre-trial rights and not to harm his physical and psychological person for the entire period he is in their custody. In the meantime, MMPZ advocacy officers Fadzai December and Molly Chimhanda, and MMPZ’s Public Information Rights Committee chairman for Gwanda Mr Gilbert Mabusa remain in police custody at Gwanda police station.

They are being charged under POSA for failing to give notice of a meeting and also under the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for “participating in gathering with intent to promote public violence, breaches of the peace or bigotry”. MMPZ vigorously denies the allegations in both cases.

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