CL/175/11(a)-R.2- 33 -
Geneva, 1st October 2004
Mr. Nyoni was arrested together with Mr. Bhebhe on 6 February 2002 (see above 1.9.). According to the police memorandum of March 2004, Mr. Nyoni teamed up with 38 other MDC supporters and drove in four vehicles towards Nkayi business centre where there was a ZANU-PF rally. The convoy was stopped at a police roadblock near Nkayi business centre and they were arrested after being found with 166 stones, six axes, one machete, nine knobkerries, one Okapi knife and a wooden plank. They were charged under the POSA for carrying offensive weapons. While according to information provided by Mr. Bhebhe, the case was dismissed in September 2003, the police affirm that the case has not yet been finalised and that the file is with the regional prosecutor.
2.2.2.Attacks on Mr. Nyoni’s house and on that of his mother-in-law
In its memorandum of 20 April 2004, the police reported that on 12 September 2001, a group of people arrived at Mr. Nyoni’s house in Victoria Falls and caused some damage. An investigation was instituted, but was closed on 15 November 2001 “undetected”.
On 12 September 2001, a group of youths approached Mr. Nyoni’s mother-in-law and threw stones at her house, causing damage. Police made an investigation, but closed it on 4 October 2001 “undetected”.
The police memorandum of March 2004 refers to the charge brought against Mr. Coltart under the Firearms Act. It gives a different version of events to the one contained in the Committee’s file. According to police, on 16 February 2002, Mr. Coltart saw some ZANU-PF supporters pasting some campaign posters along Magpie Road in Burningside, Bulawayo. This angered him and he fired some shots in the direction of the supporters without having been provoked at all. While the delegation was informed that the prosecution withdrew the charges in June 2003 following an order from the Magistrate that the trial must proceed forthwith, the police affirms that the case is still awaiting set down of a trial date.
On 13 January 2003, Mr. Mpala was attacked in Lupane business centre by a group of 18 men who beat him on the head and stabbed him with a knife. They left him unconscious and drove away in his motor vehicle. According to the police memorandum of March 2004, six persons were arrested and charged with attempted murder, kidnapping and theft. Five suspects were remanded on 30 March 2004 on charges of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, kidnapping and theft. Police observed that Mr. Mpala was detained at St. Luke’s Hospital from 3 February to the time of his death. According to the death certificate, a copy of which was provided to the delegation, he died on 3 February 2004 of cryptococcal meningitis. The authorities refute that his death could have been precipitated by the assault on him and the injuries he sustained as a result. The police observed in its March 2003 memorandum that “tension within the Lupane area had been high following the murder of Limukani Luphala on 29 October 2001 by MDC supporters. Luphala was abducted by the MDC supporters while at his curio shop at about 8 p.m. … Four suspects were picked up and are now assisting police with investigations … ”.
The information provided by police relates to Mr. Mpandawana’s arrest in March 2003 in relation with the mass stay-away. According to the information, the Committee had on file, he was arrested on 19 March and held in police custody until 26 March when he was transferred to Kadoma prison. While in police custody, he was reportedly beaten with police batons and kicked all over his body. He was reportedly also denied access to medical treatment and to his family. He reportedly fell ill after his incarceration and his health deteriorated steadily until he died on 9 August 2003.
According to the police memorandum of March 2004, Mr. Mpandawana and others gathered on 17 March 2003 in a flat. Mr. Mpandawana and another person distributed dynamite to five other persons for them to use “to destroy bridges, roads and supermarkets”. He was arrested for public violence and 18 counts were held against him, mainly throwing of explosives, damaging window panes, freezers, a wall, the roof of a warehouse, a narrow bridge across an unnamed street, and theft. The same day (17 March 2003), Mr. Mpandawana was reportedly seen leading a group of MDC youths who were looting fruit vendors and attacking people. In the running battles they had with police, Mr. Mpandawana was reportedly seen