ZimRights official and three others denied bail

Leo Chamahwinya  has been denied bail

By Alex Bell
21 December 2012

An official from the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) and three other individuals dragged into the case against him, have all been denied bail and will spend the Christmas season behind bars in Harare.

ZimRights programs manager Leo Chamahwinya has remained in detention at Harare remand prison since last week, after being arrested during a police raid on the group’s offices. He was taken into custody on allegations that he was involved in ‘illegal voter registration’. He was then charged with ‘conspiracy to commit fraud’.

Three other individuals have also been charged in the same case, which human rights lawyer Trust Maanda said was a deliberate ploy to try and implicate Chamahwinya. Maanda told SW Radio Africa that none of the accused know anything about the allegations made by the state and Chamahwinya and the others did not even know each other.

The other three individuals are Dorcas Shereni, Tanaka Chinaka and Farai Bhani who are all being accused of forgery, fraud and publishing ‘false statements’. The state has alleged that the group forged voter registration certificates “to tarnish the name of the Registrar General.”

Maanda said on Friday that their bail application was dismissed because the judge insists the four accused are facing “serious charges.”

“The judge also ruled that they are likely to abscond or could even interfere in the ongoing investigation. This is despite the fact that my clients know nothing about what they are being charged with,” Maanda said.

He added that he is not surprised by the court’s decision, saying “in Zimbabwe it is never surprising to be arrested for something you know nothing about.”

An appeal against the bail dismissal will be filed at the Supreme Court next week.

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10 Responsesto “ZimRights official and three others denied bail”

  1. wilbert_mukori says:

    Zimbabwe’s human rights community has grown in leaps and bounds since the days of CCJP in the 1980s, a reflection of how this regime has become more and more repressive and brutal. Initially Zanu PF used its party thugs to terrorize the people whilst the Police and the Judiciary turned a blind eye. In the last ten years the situation has got a lot worse; all Zimbabwe’s security organs are now playing an active role in the Zanu PF terror machine.

    Now, human rights defenders like Zimrights’ Chamahwinya are themselves on the cross-wires of the brutal regime.

    After 33 years of mismanagement, corruption and looting which has driven millions of Zimbabweans into a life of abject poverty; it is little wonder that Mugabe and Zanu PF are totally unelectable. The regime has managed to stay in power this far by using brutal repression but with each passing year the people have hardened their resolve rid the nation of this dictatorship. The cup is full to overflowing; enough is enough; Mugabe and Zanu PF must go and no amount of repression can stop that!

    • Mukanganyama says:

      Tell us what you know about human rights in the Zimbabwean context. Are you comparing the Human Rights Act of the United Kingdom and that of Zimbabwe. You should realize that the laws of the United Kingdom where we are informed you have taken refuge, has developed its laws over centuries. It has been the tenacious and dedicated efforts of the law makers of this country that have developed the laws of this country to be what they are today. Buy in your country, you have the MDC formations holding positions in government and in the House of Assembly. What have they been doing for the last four years they joined the inclusive government? And why blame ZANU PF as if they are the only law makers in the House of Assembly? There is collective responsibility that should be shared by all political parties in this government. Robert Mugabe does not make laws in Zimbabwe but only signs into law those laws that will have been discussed and agreed to in the House of Assembly.

      For your information and those who are as confused as you, Zimbabweans have had human rights since the country attained independence in 1980. They never had any human and civil rights during the days of colonialism and the illegal rule by a bunch of thugs led by Ian Smith.

      Lastly what you call rights are not automatic as they come with responsibility. They can easily be taken away if there is lawlessness in the country. Leo Chamahwinya should hold himself responsible for the action taken by the court of this country in denying him bail.

      • wilbert_mukori says:

        Are you saying Zimbabweans needs another century to accept that a follow human has the right to life?

        Does the State have any responsibility to the citizens? Is it not the Police’s responsibility to safe guard the rights of the citizens and yet here we are with the Police harassing the citizens to promote the selfish political interests of a tyrant!

        Chisingaperi chinoshura, this regime is reign of terror is drawing to an end and then you can explain once again why people like Chamahwinya were arrested! no doubt you have an invested interest in this regime.

        • Mukanganyama says:

          I merely gave an analogy or a form of logical inference based on the assumption that if two things are known to be alike in some respects, then they must be alike in other respects. Just to be clear to you, Zimbabwe does not need a century to make laws that promote human and civil rights. What the country desperately require are parliamentarians who are well schooled and learned to make laws that promote human and civil rights in the country as these do not grow on trees. Besides, we need law makers who are capable of arguing their case while in Parliament and not the current crop that has been fielded by the MDC formations who get bulldozed all the time by their ZANU PF counterparts. Quite frankly, if the electorate decide to elect Tsvangirai and a host of other hopeless MPs from the MDC camp to represent them in the next Parliament, the electorate should not expect manner from heaven.
          Lastly, you need to define your understanding of the term state and who comprise it, or put differently, are the MDC formations part of the state, and if so what have been their role in the last 4 years?

          • Chimbwido Warvet says:

            You ask these pertinent question and expect an educated answer from Wilbert Mukori. Stop dreaming Mukanganyama as this guys knows next to nothing. All he talks about are the 30000 people he claims were butchered in Matebeleland by the Mugabe regime but he forgets about the 2 million people killed by the Ian Smith regime in their quest to reclaim their land that was stolen from the indigenous people by the former colonial power, the so-called Great Britain.That is why most people think he is a mercenary.

  2. Mukanganyama says:

    Unfortunately many black folks like this Wilbert Mukori are in the ditch and don’t want to get out of it. They know next to nothing and yet want to write on any topic on this site they are not versed in. It is a tragedy for the black people of Zimbabwe who continue to be used by foreigners to propagate falsehoods at the expense of their own people.

    • wilbert_mukori says:

      That is the nonsense Mugabe and Zanu PF idiots have been saying for years! The country is in a real mess because of mismanagement, corruption and looting and over 30 000 innocent Zimbabweans have been murdered and we are all expected to believe it is “foreigners propagating falsehoods” who are to blame for it all. You think you are “helping your own people” by burying your head in the sand?

      I think we should saw the reality; we have brutal tyrants like Mugabe and flawed and indecisive leaders like Tsvangirai ruining the country; until we acknowledge it we will never get out of this mess. By the way I do not need your permission of express my opnion, this is something idiots like you find hard to accept, but will!

      • Chimbwido Warvet says:

        Oh gosh, no, no Aah, this Wilbert Mukori thing is a pipe dream. I heard him being interviewed by SW Radio Africa the other day and I wondered where he is getting these weird ideas he is propagating on radio against his own country. Assuming he is Zimbabwean, it is clear he is working for foreign capital to continue to thrive in the country at the expense of the indigenous people. A true Zimbabwean does not despise his own people the way this buffoon does. At best he can be described as a mercenary or someone who is motivated solely by a desire for monetary or material gain and nothing more.

        Of course, we true Zimbabweans are well aware that some of our people come in various shapes and designs but this Wilbert thing is in a class of his own.

        • wilbert_mukori says:

          And you real think you a better “Zimbabwean” by denying the untold suffering and deaths of your fellow black Zimbabweans if the suffering and deaths are inflicted by or in the name of Mugabe and Zanu PF.

          You Chimbwido are nothing but a faithful dog and tyrants the world over have relied on your brutality and stupidity to keep them in power. You are ruthless enough to beat, rape and
          murder defenseless civilians who only crime is that they dared complain about their suffering and/or exercise their basic rights including the right to a meaningful say in the governance of the country. You are so stupid you failed to see that these people you are beating and raping and murdering have committed no crime but that in carrying these acts you are the one committing a heinous crime. You are so stupid you do not see that you are as much the victim of the oppression as the rest of us and the tyrant is using you to do his dirty work for which you are paid peanuts. And the day the tyrant is kicked out of
          office and the past is revealed in all its hideous details, the tyrant will not hesitate disown the mad dogs who carried out the dirty work.

          You have served Mugabe well just as your father and grandfather before you served Smith well – being a brutal
          and stupid murderous dog is more often than not hereditary. Your father and grandfather were lucky in that Ian Smith was replaced by a tyrant keen to employ murderous dogs than prosecuting them. Mugabe’s reign of terror is drawing to an end and Zimbabwe is not going to have another tyrant. This time, the murderous past is not going to be swept under the carpet but investigated. Woe to you who have shed
          innocent blood!

          You will have you chance to defend yourself, of course; you can explain how you were serving Zimbabwe by killing over 30 000 innocent and defenseless people!

          • Chimbwido Warvet says:

            What a coward who talks as if he has balls when he is in hiding and nothing to show. Come back home and we will sort you very well, boy. You will never talk this nonsense again.