Gwisai and activists suing Home Affairs Ministers over torture

Former law lecturer and socialist party leader Munyaradzi Gwisai, and five other activists arrested for watching videos of the Egyptian uprisings last year, have filed a $300,000 law suit against the police and both Home Affairs co-Ministers.


A total of 46 activists were arrested when police raided Gwisai’s home, where the activists were watching videos of the uprisings in Egypt and North Africa. They were charged with plotting to destabilize the government. The majority were released, but six who remained in custody say they were tortured.

High Court papers name as defendants the Home Affairs co-Ministers Theresa Makone (MDC-T) and Kembo Mohadi (ZANU PF), Police chief Augustine Chihuri, Prisons Commissioner Paradzai Zimondi and Officer Commanding Harare Law and Order Charles Ngirishi.

One of activists, Hopewell Gumbo, told SW Radio Africa that they suffered physical as well as mental abuse while in detention and decided to sue for damages. “We were subjected to heavy physical beatings from which I suffered a broken nose. Others had various injuries depending on the instrument used and part of the body assaulted,” Gumbo explained.

Gumbo said the group also suffered mental torture during the time they were in solitary confinement. Their families were also subjected to fear and worry for their safety.

Asked why the MDC-T was included in the law suit, Gumbo said: “Logically you need to sue both ministers and it is unfortunate that the MDC are a junior partner in this coalition. Theresa Makone is aware of our arrests and what we went through but unfortunately they are part of this coalition.”

This case not only exposes the brutal treatment and police abuse of jailed opponents of the Mugabe regime, but it also highlights the complexities the MDC-T created for themselves by joining the coalition government.

The Attorney-General denies the torture allegations and no date has been set for the hearing. – SW Radio Africa News

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