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111th ASSEMBLY OF THE INTER-PARLIAMENTARY UNION - page 21 / 60

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CL/175/11(a)-R.2- 19 -

Geneva, 1st October 2004

injury to property without provocation for throwing stones onto the roof of the house on 21 May 2001, thereby damaging some roofing sheets and a gutter.  He was sentenced to 10 months’ prison with labour on 9 May 2002.  Police reported another case against George Mabvunyika in which the latter is suspected of having broken window panes of Mr. Madzimure’s house on 21 October 2001.  

1.2.Mr. Tendai Biti, MP for Harare East

1.2.1.Mr. Biti stated that he had been first arrested in February 2000 and acquitted in court.  He was again arrested in February 2003 in Mabvuku suburb together with Mr. Paul Madzore, when he was about to address a rally (see also below under 1.13.).  He was held for three days in detention, the court refusing to place him on remand.  According to the “Playing with fire” report, he was discharged on 10 February 2003.

1.2.2.The police memorandum of 8 March 2004 provides information on the February 2003 arrest only.  It states that Mr. Biti addressed a political rally at Kamunhu Shopping Center in Mabvuku without due notification under the POSA.  Contrary to the information above, the police stated that the case was at court pending set down of trial date.  

1.3.Ms. Trudy Stevenson, MP for Harare North

Ms. Stevenson said that, on 14 February 2003, St. Valentine’s Day, a “Women for Peace and Love” march was organised and roses were handed out.  Ms. Stevenson was not marching with the other women, but waving a rose at them.  She was arrested by riot police together with other women, but separated from them and taken to another police station where she was accused of having organised the march which she denied.  She called her lawyer who came to the station.  She was eventually released after police had warned her that the next time she would suffer.  

Ms. Stevenson reported further that, in November 2002, she was arrested during the Cricket World Cup after she and others had handed over a petition to the Namibia High Commissioner, protesting against the Namibian team playing in the matches.  When leaving the place, some participants raised placards and then dispersed.  Later that day, she received a phone call from police, ordering her to come to the police station in relation with a demonstration.  She went there and was questioned in different rooms, urging her to produce the petition.  When the lawyer told her that she need not produce the petition, police let her go.  

In 2003, Ms. Stevenson was summoned to the Police G.H..  She went with her lawyer, unaware of the reason for the summons. A letter was presented to her, purportedly written by her, ordering the Mayor of Harare to provide free council accommodation to an MDC police officer who was supposedly a resident in her constituency.  She managed to prove that the letter was a forgery and was released without charge.  

Finally, Ms. Stevenson reported that in the week prior to the mission, the NGO Women in Parliament Support Unit (WIPSU), a non-political organisation which is open to all women irrespective of political affiliation, wanted to organise three workshops in her constituency.  The first, on Monday 22 March 2004 in Hatcliffe Community Hall, was abruptly broken up by police on the grounds that police permission was necessary for her to speak and to open the workshop.  The two women facilitators were interrogated and one of them was taken to the police station, threatened with violence and harassed for about 30 minutes.  The participants were chased away.  WIPSU and Ms. Stevenson decided to halt the programme until the issue was clarified with the police.  Ms. Stevenson affirms that her credibility has suffered just as campaigning for the 2005 elections is beginning.  

The police memorandum of 8 March 2004 only provides information on an incident that occurred in July 1998 where it was established that a report made against Ms. Stevenson (tearing down electoral posters) had been false and hence there was no need for prosecution.  

1.4.Mr. Gabriel Chaibva, MP for Sunningdale Harare

1.4.1.Arrest in February 2003

Mr. Chaibva reported that, in his capacity as Shadow Minister for Local Government, he had been mandated by his party to attend a meeting of local (municipal) MDC councillors in Hwange town

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