ZCTU leaders to spend weekend in custody
By Lance Guma
09 May 2008
The President and Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions will spend the weekend in police custody, after the state deliberately delayed their appearance in court Friday. Lovemore Matombo and Wellington Chibhebhe were arrested Thursday over allegations they incited people to rise against the government during their May Day speeches at Dzivarasekwa Stadium in Harare.
The two leaders had presented themselves to the police on Thursday and were interrogated for 6 hours before charges were laid. Their lawyer Alec Muchadehama said the relevant paper work had not been done to ensure his clients appeared in court within the stipulated 48 hours. Weekends and public holidays are never included in that legal window and are often used by the state to prolong the detention of perceived anti-government opponents.
Meanwhile Davison Maruziva, the editor of the weekly Zimbabwe Standard, was released Friday after spending the night in police custody. Police picked him up from the newspaper’s offices and accused him of publishing an ‘offensive’ article by Arthur Mutambara the leader of one of the MDC factions. The article entitled, ‘A shameful betrayal of national Independence,’ is said to have been ‘prejudicial’ to the state. Maruziva was granted Z$10 billion bail.