ZRP invokes MOPO to curtail citizens’ fundamental freedoms

BINDURA - Magistrate Ruramai Chitumbura on Friday 1 July 2022 ended the two-day detention of three Institute for Young Women’s Development (IYWD) team members, who were arrested by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers for allegedly convening an unsanctioned meeting.

The three IYWD team members namely Sandra Zenda, Kudakwashe Munemo and
Onai Chitakunye were arrested by ZRP officers on Wednesday 29 July
2022 and detained at Bindura Police Station before they were charged
with contravening section 7(1)(b) as read with section 5 of the
Maintenance of Peace and Order (MOPO) Act.

Zenda, Munemo and Chitakunye, who were represented by Idirashe
Chikomba, Tinashe Chinopfukutwa and Blessing Nyamaropa of Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights, were accused of convening a meeting which
was attended by 80 people on 29 June 2022 at Mayfair Lodge in Bindura,
without giving notice in writing to Chief Superintendent Gladman
Chiparaushe, the ZRP Officer Commanding Bindura District, for

Victor Morrison, who had also been arrested together with the trio,
was released on 30 June 2022 after he paid a fine for allegedly
failing to display registration number plates on a vehicle. Morrison
was also charged with contravening section 7(1)(b) of MOPO Act. He was
advised by ZRP officers that he would be summoned to appear in court
if the State intends to proceed with prosecuting him.

On Friday 1 July 2022, Magistrate Chitumbura set the trio free after
granting them ZWL10 000 each and ordering them to continue residing at
their given residential addresses and not to interfere with witnesses
until the matter is finalised. They return to court on 15 July 2022.

Zenda, Munemo, Chitakunye and Morrison join dozens of people, who in
recent years have been targeted by ZRP while exercising their freedom
of association and assembly and accused of contravening MOPO Act.

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