A Harare magistrate on Saturday dismissed an application by police who were seeking to extend the detention of rights activists arrested on Friday for allegedly participating in an antigovernment protest.
The activists are Advocate Fadzayi Mahere (31), Nyasha Musandu (28), Henry Munangatire (32), Mudiwa Mahere (25), Talent Chademana (28), Thobekile Ncube (42). Following their arrest, police sought a warrant for further detention for the six, beyond the prescribed 48 hours.
They claimed the activists participated in a gathering with intent to promote public violence, breaches of the peace or bigotry as defined in Section 37 (1) (a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 alternatively disorderly conduct in contravention of Section 41 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.
The activists, police claimed, gathered at Africa Unity Square in Harare on Friday with intent to promote public violence, breaches of the peace or bigotry by displaying some placards inscribed with protest messages against the imminent introduction of bond notes by the government. Defence lawyers opposed the application arguing that the arrest and detention of their clients is unlawful since they were not advised of the reason of arrest upon being apprehended.