SW Radio Africa (London)

14 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Zimrights Director Machisa Arrested By Police

Photo: MDC
File Photo:Zimbabwean Police

ZimRights director Okay Machisa was on Monday arrested and charged by the police in Harare for allegedly conspiring to 'commit voter registration fraud and publishing or communicating falsehoods.'

McDonald Lewanika, the director of Crisis Coalition in Zimbabwe, confirmed to SW Radio Africa that Machisa presented himself to the police in the presence of his lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa.

Machisa becomes the second person from ZimRights to face similar charges after his deputy Leo Chamahwinya was arrested last year and is still being held in remand prison.

Lewanika said Machisa was arrested together with his personal assistant Faith Mwamutse.

'They've laid the same fraudulent and unfounded charges against Machisa, just like what they did with Chamahwinya. This action by the police was not only unexpected but unjustified as well.

'This is a clear plot by the authorities to stop Zimbabwean voters being enlightened on voter registration and it's a clear attack on the people spearheading this campaign,' Lewanika added.

Jameson Timba, the Minister of State in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's office, went on Facebook to make known his views on the latest crackdown.

'The continued harassment of civil society leaders in Zimbabwe who are going about their work, is an affront to democracy and a threat to a free and fair electoral environment. It must stop,' he said.

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