PASTOR EVAN HITS BACK, SUES POLICE FOR UNFAIR ARREST
Lawyers representing religious leader and activist, Evan Mawarire have written to the Zimbabwe Republic Police notifying them of their client’s intention to sue.
In a letter addressed to the Commissioner General of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, Mawarire argues that he was arrested on malicious allegations, unfairly detained and also harassed.
Mawarire was arrested in June 2016 after having his video protesting against corruption, human rights abuse and economic decay in the country.
In the video, he urged the government to address the issues.
When he was arrested, he was charged with inciting public violence but the charge was later changed to treason and attempting to over-throw a constitutionally elected government.
The lawyers said Mawarire suffered humiliation when his home thoroughly searched for subversive material.
“Our client was charged again on 1 February and was charged with subversion, insulting and inciting violence.”
Mawarire was again arrested in July 2017 and September 2017. At all these instances, he was being arrested by detectives from the Law and Order section on orders from senior members of the force.
“Our client was not convicted of any of the charges levelled against him,” the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said.
The lawyers argued that as a result of the arrests, Mawarire suffered financial and non-financial harm.
Mawarire’s freedom of movement was curtailed each time he was locked up, the lawyers argued.
It is argued that confinement endangered Mawarire’s health because remand cells lacked proper sanitation and healthy food. As a result, he suffered diarrhea.
His incarceration also impaired his dignity as a leader of a church, his income was affected and family also, received endless threats, ZLHR argue.
Mawarire contends that police violated the Police Act in the manner in which they acted because it prohibits them from acting in a partisan manner.
“The arrest and detention were made without reasonable grounds as required by section 25 (1) (b) of the criminal procedure and evidence act.
“Damages will claimed for malicious arrest and detention, pain and suffering, contumelia and loss of income.”
The letter was copied to Minister of Home Affairs, Assistant Commissioner Crispen Makedenge , Detective Inspector Edmore Runganga, Detective inspector Phiri as well as the civil division of the Attorney General.