CL/175/11(a)-R.2- 35 -
Geneva, 1st October 2004
Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. On 9 May 2000, when waiting for the bus to take him to his work, he was attacked by five young men with grass slashers and knobkerries until he fell to the ground. They then poured petrol over him and wanted to set him on fire. Mr. Chebundo only escaped death because he managed to get on his feet and to hold on to the man with the matchbox, thus ensuring that they would burn together. The gang then fled. Mr. Chebundo, who sustained injuries during the attack, particularly to his inner ear in which the petrol had penetrated, reported the incident to police. However, by the time the Presidential Clemency Order was issued, no arrest had been made. This is confirmed in the police memorandum of April 2004, which states that investigations were carried out, but with no positive result and the file was closed. The memorandum states also that “no serious injuries” were inflicted during the attack.
On 15 May 2000, at around 7 p.m. while he was in his house, petrol bombs were thrown into the house. Mr. Chebundo managed to call the police station which was about 800 meters away, only to hear that they had neither transport nor manpower nor were they able to call the fire-brigade because their telephone was only an internal one. His house and car were burnt to the ground, and Mr. Chebundo and his family lost everything. He has since faced serious difficulties in renting a flat as he is considered a security risk by landlords. In their memorandum of April 2004, police confirmed the burning of his property and stated “that investigations were instituted but could not lead to the arrest of the accused person”. The file was closed owing to the Presidential Clemency Order.
3.4.2.Incidents occurring after his election
Since his election, Mr. Chebundo faces constant harassment and has experienced four police house searches, allegedly for weapons of war and subversive materials. Each time, no evidence was found.
In November 2002, a similar incident occurred. Mr. Chebundo had been summoned by the District Police Chief who told him that he had received instructions from Harare Police that he was keeping arms of war in his house and that they had to go and search it. Thereafter six armed police drove to his house and ransacked it. All this happened in the public eye.
On 19 March 2003, while Mr. Chebundo was at a meeting in the provincial MDC offices which, he said, were a mere skeleton because they had been bombed during the elections, three trucks of police and army soldiers came and arrested him. At the police station, he had to wait for five hours while three other MDC members were interrogated. He was then told that police had information to the effect that he provided explosives to the MDC. After having spent the whole day at the police station, police let him go at about 11 p.m.
The delegation understood further that in December 2003, Mr. Chebundo had given an interview regarding the illegal gold mining in his constituency. He had been investigating the issue because of the many problems it caused (use of mercenaries, prostitution and HIV-AIDS). A defamation lawsuit was subsequently brought against him. The case was pending.
E.DEVELOPMENTS IN THE SITUATION OF THE MPS CONCERNED WHICH OCCURRED BETWEEN THE MISSION AND THE 105TH SESSION OF THE COMMITTEE (15‑22 APRIL 2004)
1.Ms. Masaiti was arrested again on 17 April 2004. Together with other MDC members, she was travelling back to Harare from Mutasa where they had attended the memorial service for an MDC district chairperson. After she dropped off three young men whom she had offered transport, her car was stopped by a police roadblock. Police reportedly accused her of having organised a football match for MDC youth in Mabvuku and of ferrying MDC youths to Harare who would cause chaos in Mabvuku. She and the others were taken to Mabvuku police station and detained for five days, reportedly under the POSA. Ms. Masaiti and the others have reportedly sued the Government for illegal detention. The Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians raised the question of her arrest with Minister Chinamasa at the hearing held with him on the occasion of the Committee’s 105th session, which took place in conjunction with the 110th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (Mexico City, 18-22 April 2004). The Minister said that, having left Harare some time ago he was not aware of Ms. Masaiti’s arrest, but mentioned that she had caused some displeasure when she arrived in her car, driven by her chauffeur at a ZANU-PF womens