Geneva, 1st October 2004
(160 km from the planned venue which had to be changed due to police refusal) on 8 February 2003. Two hours after the meeting had started, three truck-loads of police arrived and sat in the meeting, finally telling the 16 councillors who were present that they were all under arrest. However, the police arrested only Mr. Chaibva. When he asked what the charges against him were, the police answered that they were waiting for orders. Finally the officer in charge arrived and called the police headquarters but the senior officer was not there. After having been warned and cautioned, Mr. Chaibva was released.
1.4.2.Attacks on his house
On 12 January 2004, while he was in South Africa, Mr. Chaibva’s house was stoned by ZANU-PF youth, among them his neighbours, who were well-known in the area. Window panes and a few asbestos sheets were broken. Mr. Chaibva provided the delegation with the names and house numbers of the attackers and the details of the vehicle in which they drove off. He reported the case personally to the police on 13 January 2002 on his return from South Africa and the case was classified as N° CR 172/01/02. for having set up MDC youth to attack [his] house in an effort to discredit ZANU-PF”. However, given the South African entry and exit stamps in his passport, they refrained from doing so.
His house was again attacked on 6 March 2002 during a meeting of about 200 ZANU‑PF supporters which took place on an open ground about 50 meters from his house. They first attacked Mr. Chaibva verbally and then stoned his house. Mr. Chaibva said that the assailants threw two tons of stones until the roof collapsed. Six MDC youths were injured in the attack, one of them losing his front teeth. As Mr. Chaibva’s home was used as the constituency’s election headquarters for the 2002 presidential election, three armed police officers were guarding his house; however, they did not attempt to stop the attack. Mr. Chaibva informed the delegation that the attack occurred in the presence of international electoral observers from SAC PF and the EU and was filmed. An officer of the local police station (Braeside) to whom the matter was referred refused to take details which were eventually taken by Harare Central police station. The names of 13 suspects were provided. The matter was subsequently handed over to Officer Dowa who informed Mr. Chaibva that he had closed the file for “lack of suspects”.
Police provided information on the March 2002 attack only. According to the memorandum of 8 March 2004, investigations were under way but no suspects had so far been arrested. According to the memorandum of 8 April 2004, the case has been closed undetected. The delegation invited the Commissioner of Police to comment on the fact that police officers present at the scene had not intervened in any way. The Commissioner replied that they were unarmed and therefore unable to intervene.
1.4.3.Attack on Mr. Chaibva’s father
Mr. Chaibva reported that on 20 June 2002, two days after he had visited him, his father, aged 75, was attacked by police. Two truck loads of police arrived at 7.30 p.m. when his father had retired to bed. When he refused to open the door without the persons identifying themselves, police broke a window and threw teargas into the room, forcing him to open the door. They then beat him up and severely injured him. The only reason the police provided was that they were looking for Mr. Chaibva, the MP. They then moved on, attacking a MDC Ward chairman, telling him that they wanted to kill Mr. Chaibva. On 22 July, Mr. Chaibva had a meeting with the local police authorities who stated they were unaware of the attack. On 27 July 2002, 15 police returned to his father’s home who was away, attending a funeral. They broke the door to the storeroom and reportedly threatened once again to kill the MP. Mr. Chaibva lodged an official complaint on 30 July 2002, receipt of which was acknowledged by the Z.R.P, Rusape District on 2 August 2002, advising Mr. Chaibva that investigations would be carried out and communicated to him in due course. On 14 August, he received a letter from the Z.R.P. General Headquarters, Harare that his father and others should lay a formal complaint otherwise “there is no way we can substantiate the authenticity of your report”. On 29 August 2002, he received another letter from the Internal Investigations Department, suggesting that an investigation was under way. However, since then nothing else has happened. Mr. Chaibva fears that, next time he goes home to see his father, police may again beat him up.
It is worth noting that in the complaint he lodged with the District Officer Commanding, Mr. Chaibva mentioned that the last time the police had been to his father’s home was in March 1977. “These were colonial Rhodesian Police who ironically were looking for Me, on allegations that I was a very active intelligence agent of the ZANLA14 guerrillas, in fact they alleged that I was a guerrilla during
14 Zanla was the armed wing of ZANU.