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Opposition CCC leader, 79 party activists remanded to Wednesday; say they are being brutalized in police custody

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By Mary Taruvinga


Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change leader Jameson Timba and 79 party activists have been remanded in custody to this Wednesday.

Timba and the opposition activists appeared before the Harare magistrate Ruth Moyo charged with disorderly conduct and participation in an unlawful gathering.

Through their lawyer Jeremiah Bamu, they challenged their placement on remand arguing that they were detained beyond the 48 hours allowed by the law.

“The law provides that any detention that exceeds the 48 hours limit is unconstitutional and the court is obligated to order their immediate release in terms of the Constitution, ” Bamu submitted.

Thomas Chanakira appearing for the NPA opposed the application arguing that Timba and accomplices were brought to court at 11 am and court proceedings commenced the moment they entered the court premises.

He said they have been busy with vetting and other processes so the application made by Bamu should be dismissed.

Bamu insisted that Chanakira’s argument was misplaced because section 50 talks about appearance before a Judicial officer and not arrival at court.

“So the violation exists.

“Their rights have been violated and in terms of the Constitution the only remedy is to release them immediately,” Bamu said.

The suspects were bused to court in two groups.

Some were severely brutalized with some even unable to walk while some had swollen feet.

Most of the injured are women.

One of the activists said they were brutalized by police officers who forced them into a swimming pool and to strip their tops in the presence of women.

“Women were forced to strip and remain in their undergarments in our presence.

“We were assaulted with open hands and button sticks,” said one of the suspects Jason Kautsa when they arrived at court in the morning.

One of the suspects who is a minor was released into the custody of his mother.