CL/175/11(a)-R.2- 43 -
Geneva, 1st October 2004
Trudy Stevenson was arrested for the crime of malicious injury to property under Malborough CR 146/07/98. Circumstances are that, on 14 July 1998, near Malborough Primary School, the accused is alleged to have torn posters bearing complainant Evelyne Bensessa’s pictures which were being used for the purposes of campaigning.
Investigations established that the report was false and the docket was closed.
1.4.Mr. Gabriel Chaibva, MP for Sunningdale Harare
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 (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 truckloads 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.
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. Mr. Chaibva stated that initially the police wanted to arrest him “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.
It is not true that the police wanted to arrest Gabriel Chaibva for stage-managing the stoning of his house. The report was made by one Andrew Matandi who is said to be a security guard of Gabriel Chaibva. Circumstances are that on 12 January 2002 at about 16:50 hours, a group of yet to be identified accused persons proceeded to house number 16347 Sunningdale 2, Harare which belongs to Gabriel Chaibva. On arrival, they started to throw stones at the house and in the process broke twenty‑two windowpanes and some asbestos sheets. Value damaged is $ 75,000.00. Investigations were instituted and so far have not yet yielded any fruitful results. Braeside CA 172/01/02 refers.
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.
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.
Gabriel Chaibva (Complainant)