Zimbabwe: Police Arrest Four NGO Members

30 June 2022

In a statement, IYWD said they were disturbed by the arrests as the meeting does not fall under the Maintenance of Peace and Order (MOPA) section 7(5)

"IYWD is greatly disturbed by the arrest of four of its team members in Bindura, Mashonaland Central Province. The four are collectively being charged for hosting a community meeting without a police clearance under the Maintenance of Peace and Order (MOPO) section 7(5).

"Three of the staff members Sandra Zenda, Kudakwashe Munemo and Victor Morrison were arrested during a Stakeholders' Consultative Meeting where they were convening members of local government in the Province on issues of gender-responsive social services delivery. Consultative meetings are outside public meetings as covered by MOPA.

"What is even more disturbing is that the fourth team member Onai Nyahunzvi was selectively plucked out of a meeting organised by a different partner and she was in attendance representing IYWD," the organization said.

This comes in the wake of the highly controversial Private Voluntary Organisation Bill which, once enacted, will seek to silence NGOs.

Meanwhile. the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), who is handling the case, have castigated the police for trumping citizens' fundamental rights and freedoms such as freedom of assembly and association continue to be curtailed.

ZLHR said the police did not make the accused appear in court and they are likely to spend another night in police cells.

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