High Court Overturns Patson Dzamara and Mako Haruzivishe’s Conviction, Says Case Was Politically Motivated

Harare High Court judges, Justices Charles Hungwe and Neville Wamambo overturned the conviction of pro-democracy activists Patson Dzamara and Makomborero Haruzivishe. The two had been convicted of obstruction of justice by Harare magistrate Ms Josephine Sande after they allegedly stole a policeman’s hat and baton stick when they were carrying out Occupy Africa Unity Square protests.

In setting aside the conviction the High Court judges said

• the police had not been civil in its approach of the matter;
• the context of the whole case pointed towards a political motive behind the arrest of Dzamara and Haruziviishe and that the court could not turn a blind eye to that aspect;
• the police wanted Dzamara and crew out of the Africa Unity Square at all costs or by hook or crook and this was not a bona fide arrest;
• when this incident occurred, the police was trying to arrest Dzamara and crew for an alleged robbery of two ladies but the state never proceeded to charge them with the said robbery. The two ladies (victims of robbery) disappeared from the scene immediately after the arrest of Dzamara and Haruziviishe. Therefore, the High Court could not ignore Dzamara’s version that these were trumped up and politically motivated charges.

Dzamara and Haruvishe were represented by Obey Shava a member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).

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