Zimbabwe Top Lawyer Arrested Soon After Referendum

Lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa arrested

17 March 2013
Simon Muchemwa

A top lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, is being held by Harare police after she reacted to early morning raids leading to the arrest of Thabani Mpofu, Principal Director in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Office, a day after Zimbabweans voted in a constitutional referendum.

Thabani Mpofu, the Principal Director for Research and Development in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s office, was taken from his home at 6am.
The police, led by Inspector Mirimbo from Law and Order Harare Central, later raided the Prime Minister’s office in Bath Road in Belgravia, leading to the arrest of feisty human rights lawyer. The police, who did not have a search warrant, are said to have been looking for shortwave radios.

Mtetwa is being detained at the Harare Central Police Station together with three more MDC-T officials, Anna Muzvidziwa, Felix Matsinde and Worship Dumba who were also arrested early this morning.

Meanwhile Zimbabwe Republic Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba has denied Mtetwa’s arrest is politically motivated.
During a media briefing at the police head quarters Charamba said Beatrice Mtetwa went beyond her legal mandate and shouted at police officers investigating at a crime scene.vResponding to questions whether the arrests were politically motivated she said: “Where actually an offence has been committed it is not the police that commit the offence. Police in this case have responded because the law has been contravened, so there is no way it can be politically motivated persecution whatever you call it.”

“Police are actually responding to credible information about offences that have been committed, so if people commit offences and then they start talk about persecution then it’s something else,” Charamba said.

Meanwhile Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Jeremiah Bhamu castigated the police for carrying out the arrest at a time when Zimbabwe is waiting for the referendum results. “My point is the timing itself was not the correct time to do so, right now the focus was on the referendum on how free and fair it could be, they could have waited until the referendum results are out,” Bhamu said.

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6 Responsesto “Zimbabwe Top Lawyer Arrested Soon After Referendum”

  1. Chimbwidos Warvets says:

    The police have a responsibility in maintaining law and order in the country. In discharging this responsibility, they will arrest or detain anyone who breaks the laws of the land and for them it does not matter whether one is a top lawyer or not. They will only consider the crime committed and deal with the individual concerned. In any case, any top lawyer of the country should know the laws of the country and should be aware that the police have a responsibility in maintaining law and order in the country.
    It should be understood that the police were not involved in running the referendum but in ensuring there was peace and tranquillity during the process. As a result, police should be given respect, space and latitude to carry out their responsibilities without interference from any quarter, otherwise there will be lawlessness in the country if they let people violate the laws of the land at will. Even if Tsvangirai becomes the next President of this country, which is doubtful anyway, he will still need the services of the police in maintaining law and order in the country.

    • f.theman says:

      Mr Chimbwidos Warvets !! what you are saying is only legally sensible to the extent that the Police Officers are acting lawfully. If i read the article carefully and correctly, the police/peace officers didnot have a search warrant to lawfully do the search in the PM’s office prompting Beatrice Mtetwa on the defensive and in that regard the searching was may be prima facie and ab initio unlawful and the learned lawyer’s actions were perhaps justifiable. it is unfortunate that the Zimbabwean Police does not have a deep understanding and appreciation of the values of rule of law. The Superior Officials of the Police Force, lack the knowlege in this aspect and thats why their actions are so embarrassing even to us Zimbabweans considering that we are one of the top African Countries with the best education. U.Z law student.

      • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

        Take it easy U.Z. law student. You are still learning the craft of doing things. Keep on the ball and learn as much law as you can. From the manner with which you have argued your case, it seems to me you could be a good lawyer.

  2. wilbert_mukori says:

    Now that Mugabe and Zanu PF have the yes vote safely in the bag; Mugabe will be rolling out its terror machine. We are in for a rough six months or so, this is just a taste of what is to come!

  3. infairness says:

    I want to rb a bank will you please wait until the referendum results are out

  4. super mondo says:

    most radios are sw,,mw,,andfm..there is no just rerason to raid a premesis for a listners radio.that means this raid is a planned intimidation by the zanu run police.they will pay for all this intimidation in their smelly satanic prisons,,lose their jobs and have their homes and belongings sold to pay compensation to the victims of their oppression.vote for reprisals

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