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111th ASSEMBLY OF THE INTER-PARLIAMENTARY UNION - page 58 / 60

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

Geneva, 1st October 2004

Current position:

Prosecution was declined for want of evidence.

As to case 4 (Job Sikhala went to St. Mary’s police station to rescue his brother who had been arrested.  On arrival at the station, he assaulted the police officer and was arrested and charged for common assault), he said that an appeal was pending.  A person had come to his house and fired at it.  He had gone to the police station but they had refused to register his complaint.

Charge:Common Assault

Station and Ref.: St. Mary's 430/09/01

Circumstances:

The accused person went to St. Mary's police station intending to rescue his young brother who had been arrested by the police. On arrival at the station, the accused became violent and assaulted Constable Munyaradzi Matiza who was manning the Charge Office. He was arrested and charged for common assault.

Current position:

The accused was fined $25,000 or one month in with labour at court.

As to case 6 (publication, on 21 October 2002 of a false and malicious story entitled “Mugabe crimes against Zimbabweans”), Mr. Sikhala said that the story was about a mock trial against President Mugabe.  

Charge: C/S 15(1)(A) of POSA Chpt. 11:17 or alternatively C/S 16(2)(B) of the POSA Chpt. 11:17

Station and Ref.:Harare Central 2052/11/02

Circumstances:

The accused persons published in the Financial Gazette dated 21 October 2002 a story captioned “Mugabe crimes against Zimbabweans” a story that was false and malicious.

Current position:

Docket is still at court. Matter has not yet been set down. When prosecutors have made their final opinion, the accused will either be tried or the matter will be dropped.

1.14.2.Arrest and detention of January 2003

As regards his detention from 14 to 16 January 2003 during which he was severely tortured, Mr. Sikhala provided press clippings.  It transpires from them that he had gone into hiding after policemen in riot gear had raided his house and arrested four relatives.  Shortly afterwards, on 14 January, he was arrested at a hotel in Zengeza together with four other MDC members, among them Harare lawyer Gabriel Shumba, under an accusation of allegedly torching a public bus.  They were subsequently charged under section 5 of the POSA with attempting to subvert a constitutionally elected government.  When they appeared in court on 16 January, Mr. Sikhala and Mr. Shumba said they had been tortured.  Mr. Shumba told the court that he had been coerced into writing a letter which was to serve as prosecution evidence.  They were released on bail of $ 30,000.- each and asked to report to the police once a week.  On 5 February 2003, the court dismissed the charges.  Mr. Sikhala and the others have sued the government and lodged a formal complaint as regards their torture.  

In the discussion with him, the Police Commissioner stated that Mr. Sikhala had not been in a police station when he was tortured.  In its memorandum of 20 April 2004, the police confirmed that Job Sikhala had made a report to the effect that he had been tortured while in detention and stated that “although there has been a lot of hype which has tended to impair investigations in connection with this case, progress has been made in the investigations”.  It transpires from an article published on 26 January 2003 in the Sunday Mail entitled “Sikhala probe opens; Police team formed to investigate torture allegations” that the police is conducting the investigation alone.  

Assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm

A report was made by Job Sikhala to the effect that he had been tortured while in detention. Although there has been a lot of hype which have tended to impair investigations in connection with

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