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Mpopoma MDC graffiti trio claim police torture

Mpopoma MDC graffiti trio claim police torture

Graffiti ... The painting which prosecutors say was made by three Harare men
08/11/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter
THREE men from Harare arrested over political graffiti painted on the walls of a computer centre owned by Zanu PF politburo member, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, in Bulawayo’s Mpopoma suburb told a court on Thursday that they were tortured by police.
Tafadzwa Geza, 36, Zakaria Godi, 45, and Fidelis Mudimu, 46, claim they were held for 96 hours before being charged – double the 48 hours allowed by law.
The men also claimed they were denied food, sleep and beaten by Law and Order detectives.
They arrived in court with a team of six lawyers – some from private law firms and others from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.
The legal team advised the magistrate that they were filing an application to the Supreme Court raising complaints over the men’s “extended detention, degradation and inhumane treatment” by the police.
Magistrate Learnmore Mapiye ordered prosecutor Malvern Nzombe to investigate the abuse claims as he remanded the men to December 6 on US$100 bail.
Prosecutors say on the night of October 6 this year, the three men went to the Mpopoma Information Centre – a small building converted into a community internet cafe by Ndlovu – and inscribed the words ‘MDC Chinja Ndizvo’ on a plaque at the gate.
At the time of the incident, Ndlovu – who served as the local MP for a decade – said: “This is a setback to the government's efforts to promote education and computer literacy.
“Such deplorable behaviour is uncalled for because it deprives the community a chance to learn in peace.”
The facility was officially opened by Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo in September.

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