Activist Zvorwadza asks court to close Matapi police station

Sten Zvorwadza, spokesperson for the Restoration of Human Rights Zimbabwe (ROHR), appeared in a Harare court on Tuesday to answer charges of “posing a threat to future violence,’ but the trial was postponed after defense lawyers asked the court to first deal with the “inhuman treatment” Zvorwadza suffered during his detention.

The activist was arrested last month when he went to the police to report that a gang of ZANU PF youths had attacked his business in Mbare and threatened the workers, saying he was not allowed to operate in the area because he supports the MDC-T.

Instead of investigating the case police arrested Zvorwadza and accused him of threatening to murder the thugs who had attacked his business. He was detained for the weekend and released on bail the following Monday.

In court on Tuesday Zvorwadza’s lawyers described how he was denied food and water while in detention, and kept in filthy cells that are not fit for human beings.

“We are asking for the courts to shut down Matapi Station on the grounds that it is not habitable and was condemned by the Supreme Court in 2004. We want that dealt with first so that no-one else has to suffer what I went go through,” Zvorwadza told SW Radio Africa after the hearing on Tuesday.

“The judge could not decide what issues to bring forward to the Supreme Court so we did not go ahead with the trial,” he added. The hearing is now scheduled for February 29th.

Meanwhile Zvorwadza’s business in Mbare has remained closed because of threats by ZANU PF youth chairman Jim Kunaka. But the activist insisted that he will keep fighting to get it re-opened, because “the liberation war was not fought to benefit one party or person”. – SW Radio Africa News

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