Police profess ignorance over human rights activist Dewa arrest

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By Robert Tapfumaneyi

POLICE have claimed they have no knowledge of who arrested human rights activist Sithabile Dewa on arrival in Harare a few months ago after a meeting in Maldives that authorities claim was meant to discuss the overthrow of the government.

This was after Dewa demanded her passport back as she wants to travel outside the country.

Dewa, director of Women’s Academy for leadership and Political Excellence (WALPE), requested the police to release her passport but was told authorities are unaware who was holding it.

She was arrested at the Robert Mugabe International Airport along with Rita Nyamupinga on the 28th of May after they attended a human rights workshop in the Maldives. They are facing trial on charges of planning to unseat President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.

“The people who arrested us seized our passports. Right now I want to travel outside the country. I tried to get my passport from the police and only to be told that they do not have my passport in their records.

“They said they never received it from the people who arrested us,” a fuming Dewa told Sunday.

She added, “Police were ordered by the court to investigate who has the passport but they have said they do not have the names of the people who arrested us. They do not know from which department these people are from, operate from.

“So who are these people?

“I met the officer in charge at (CID) law and order to get his official position on my passport and he insisted that they do not have it.

“So I told him I am applying for a new one but my fear is that they are gong to block it.”

Dewa is currently on $1000 bail and besides facing charges of trying to subvert Mnangagwa’s government, she is also charged with inciting public violence.