Media monitors still face charges of undermining Mugabe

A magistrate in Gwanda on Tuesday threw out two charges against Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe (MMPZ) employees Fadzai December, Molly Chimhanda and Gilbert Mabusa, who were arrested in December.


Although magistrate Sheila Nazombe dismissed charges that the three failed to notify police of a public meeting and distributed material intended to ‘breach peace’, she still upheld charges that they allegedly undermined Robert Mugabe’s authority as President.

The trio were arrested in Gwanda last month before spending two weeks in custody. Although Gwanda Magistrate Douglas Zvenyika granted them US$50 bail each on the 9th December. the Mugabe regime invoked controversial legislation to set aside the bail for another 7 days.

It was only when Bulawayo High Court Judge Nicholas Mathonsi later dismissed the appeal by the Attorney-General’s Office that led to the trio’s release.

Meanwhile in Masvingo, magistrate Dorothy Mwanyisa on Monday acquitted the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) and its senior official Joel Hita on charges of organising a photo exhibition. The exhibition held in Masvingo and entitled ‘Reflections’ exposed the 2008 election brutality.

In similar cases of persecution, seven MDC-T activists arrested in May as part of a larger group are still in custody nearly 9 months later.

Glen View Ward 32 Councillor Tungamirai Madzokere, Rebecca Mafikeni, Phenias Nhatarikwa, Lazarus Maengahama, Stanford Maengahama, Yvonne Musarurwa and Stanford Mangwiro face what have been described as ‘trumped up’ charges of murdering a policeman.

In October the police arrested MDC-T Youth Assembly chairperson Solomon Madzore over the same charges. Since November his bail hearings have been postponed for more than 8 times. Police claim he was arrested while on the run despite video evidence proving he addressed several public MDC-T events.

The MDC-T say they will now take the issue of Madzore’s continued incarceration to the regional SADC grouping who are the guarantors of the power sharing deal. Youth Assembly Secretary General Promise Mkwananzi said they had met Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and asked him to lobby SADC over Madzore. – SW Radio Africa News

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