SW Radio Africa news - The Independent Voice of Zimbabwe

Maguwu illegally ‘snatched’ from Harare Remand Prison

12 June 2010

Yesterday Johane Zviuya and myself (Tinoziva Bere) returned to Mutare and left Trust Maanda to process the High Court Bail Appeal and the review application. We had been on this case daily since 3 June 2010 and in Harare since Sunday morning.

We completed our Bail Appeal papers but could not file because the record of proceedings was not available for us to double check some of our grounds. The courts were not fully operational because of the start of the World Cup. Trust gave up around 4.00 p.m. any hope of getting the court record. We will file on Monday first thing.

We have just received bad news from friends and relatives of Farai who we asked to keep an eye on the ground that Farai was taken illegally or without our knowledge or consent and without his consent from Harare Remand Prison to Mbare's notorious MATAPI POLICE cells.

We deployed our Harare based team member, Trust MAANDA to investigate and he rushed to Harare Remand Prison demanding to see FARAI and if he has been taken then the identity of the person or persons who took him, where they took him too and what authority they had. Sadly, Yes, its true, FARAI was taken last night by CID Law and Order, where the investigating Officer (Detective Inspector Dowa) is based. The team operates under the notorious MAKEDENGE, now a Chief Superintendent. Trust Maanda is now headed to Harare Central Police Station, to Law and Order to demand the immediate return of Farai to Remand Prison and access to him to assess his condition. Beatrice Mtetwa has kindly agreed to assist and is also headed to Harare Central Police station and will meet Trust there. The plan is to seek an urgent High Court order for FARAI to be produced if he is not produced on demand now.

We have reason to fear this is for purposes of interrogation and or torture considering the complaints by FARAI's brother of torture by some in the same team of investigators. We prevented FARAI's possible torture or harassment last week by being present at almost all normal times and at the police station. We stopped the costly surveillance and visits because normally once remanded the Police no longer have control or access to the ACCUSED. But Zimbabwe is not normal and so anything is possible. We noted the exasperation of the POLICE with our constant high powered presence at the side of FARAI and are not surprised, (just infuriated) that they have acted as they did.

If FARAI has indeed been taken from PRISON to MBARE or any other place and should FARAI suffer any harm to his rights or person, the LESSON for the court who could have and should have liberated FARAI is that the courts that do not act to protect the innocent and desperate victims of this repressive systems do bear the blame for the wounds and or blood of victims. These authorities are determined.

Chikane may not be responsible for the actions of the ZIMBABWE authorities but he bears full responsibility for exposing and reporting FARAI whom he (CHIKANE) knows and or must have known is an innocent human rights advocate. It was wrong, unprofessional and irresponsible for an INTERNATIONAL process monitor to report FARAI or anyone to any authority.

It was especially irresponsible for him to have personally attacked and denigrated FARAI in the media on issues brought to him and which he had NOT and has NEVER investigated per his duty. When one reads the part of his report about MAGUWU one is left with a distinct disgust of a kind a human rights defender feels when listening to the POLICE law and order persecutors of FARAI or to the hate talk of politicians that rule this country.

I hope this Abbey Chikane can sleep in peace every night knowing that an innocent human rights defender is daily being persecuted at the instance of and or the complaint of one he took into his confidence. I also hope that the KP community realizes what is happening and how brutality has been unleashed upon an innocent advocate for transparent inquiry into allegations of blood letting and human suffering in CHIADZWA.

As I have said before, whether true or false... the mouth that brought alarm is being silenced before any transparent or thorough inquiry into the allegations. Chikane made the allegations and the authorities have given FARAI no peace ever since. In the meantime Chikane continues a relentless personal and unfounded media attack on an innocent defenseless incarcerated human rights defender. The authorities bolstered by Chikane's public support have put maximum resources to imprison and silence FARAI and announced NOT a single independent or judicial inquiry into these serious allegations. If any sort of weight is placed on what Chikane is advocating then it will be a shame to all concerned including the Kimberly Process community. I hope Chikane can look at himself in the mirror and feel proud...I hope when time to sleep comes he has peaceful nights, otherwise how else could he live with himself!

We will send you an update as events unfold and pray that he is safe. Please do keep FARAI in your prayers. He needs them most now.

Tino Bere & Team


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