Zimbabwe's embattled civil society groups were on Thursday due to confront Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri to demand for the release of the three employees of the Counselling Services Unit (CSU) who were arrested for allegedly possessing "offensive and subversive material".
As published by our top partner Radio VOP Zimbabwe
Magistrate Learnmore Mapiye on Thursday ended the four-day detention ordeal for the three, Fidelis Mudimu, Zachariah Godi, and Tafadzwa Geza arrested on Monday after police raided their offices.
The three representatives, who were transferred from the capital city Harare to the second largest city of Bulawayo, were however, charged for causing malicious damage to property, in contravention of Section 140 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, four days after their arrest on Monday.
James Zidzimu and Penn Bruno arrested together with the three were later released on Monday evening.
Watson Ofumeli, a photographer with the Daily News, was also arrested while covering the police raid of the CSU offices. Ofumeli was taken to Harare Central Police station where he was briefly detained and only released after being forced to delete the pictures that he had taken.
Police claimed that the CSU was in possession of material that “defaces any house, building, wall, fence, lamp post, gate, elevator without the consent of the owner or occupier thereof”, in contravention of Section 46 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
According to state prosecutor Marlvin Nzombe, the three CSU representatives together with some unidentified individuals smeared some MDC graffiti on an information centre located in Mpopoma high density suburb in Bulawayo 07 October 2012.The state claimed that the CSU senior staff members inscribed the words “MDC” and “MDC Chinja Ndizvo” on a bill board and on a durawall surrounding the information centre.
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