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Activist Haruzivishe challenges arrest, tells court he was shot at and abducted

Activist Haruzivishe challenges arrest, tells court he was shot at and abducted

HARARE – Prominent opposition activist Makomborero Haruzivishe has challenged his arrest after his lawyers told a court on Friday that he was abducted at gunpoint by men who refused to identify themselves.

The 27-year-old, who was arrested on Wednesday, appeared before Harare magistrate Isheanesu Matova on Friday.

The court deferred to Saturday a hearing into his challenge, seeking to have his arrest declared unlawful.

His lawyer Obey Shava of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) asked the court to issue an order for the police to track down his arresting details.

Shava said Haruzivishe – who is charged with kidnapping over a protest at Impala Car Rental last October during which a door was chain-locked – was seized by people in civilian clothes who were brandishing guns.

“They refused to identify themselves and they fired gunshots towards the accused person,” Shava said.

“They took the accused person to their unmarked vehicles and drove towards Chitungwiza where the accused person called for help, shouting that he was being kidnapped after he saw people. That’s when the abductors made a U-turn and dropped him at Harare Central Police Station,” the lawyer added.

The prosecution led by Shambidzeni Fungura alleges that October 15, 2020, Haruzivishe who was in the company of Prince Gora, Youngerson Matete – both of whom have been arrested – and others still at large unlawfully locked the employees of Impala Motor Spares inside the shop.

It is further alleged that the group held up and waved placards denouncing the arrest of Takudzwa Ngadziore, the president of the Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu). Days earlier, Ngadziore had been arrested for addressing a news conference near Impala Car Rental’s headquarters denouncing the company’s role in the abduction and torture of student Tawanda Muchehiwa by state security agents driving in an Impala vehicle.

“The accused person used a chain and a lock to secure the entrance to the shop denying Impala employees their freedom. The accused then left some of the placards at the premises’ entrance while leaving the employees at the scene still locked inside the shop premises. The employees were later rescued by members of the police,” the prosecution charges.

The National Prosecuting Authority is opposing the granting of bail, arguing that Haruzivishe has two outstanding arrest warrants after skipping court dates in two other pending criminal cases.

ZimLive

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