20 April 2011

Zimbabwe:Thou shalt not criticise Comrade Mugabe!


A Zimbabwean minister and a Roman Catholic priest who were arrested for criticising President Robert Mugabe were released on Wednesday after spending six days in police cells.
Moses Mzila Ndlovu - a co-minister in the Organ of National Healing and Reconciliation - and Father Marko Mnkandla were detained after attending mass in memory of victims of a 1980s army massacre in Western parts of the country.
On Tuesday they were granted $500 bail each and ordered to surrender their passports.
But their freedom was delayed because they did not have the travel documents with them.
Leg irons
The duo’s lawyers complained that they were denied access to their clients. They said Ndlovu and Mnkandla were also denied food during their detention.
The two were brought in leg irons amid tight security in a small town south-west of the capital Harare.
Ndlovu, who is also the deputy secretary general of the smaller faction of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), is charged under the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly saying the police, intelligence service and the army were being used by President Mugabe to violate human rights.
The killings that occurred in Matabeleland soon after Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980 have remained a hot issue because the perpetrators have never been brought to book and Mugabe has defied pressure to apologise.
Police have also stepped up the arrest of Mugabe’s opponents ahead of elections planned for this year
Source:africa review

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