Whistleblower on fresh allegations


Police have now moved incarcerated civic leader Farai Maguwu from Matapi Police Station to Harare Central Police Station where he was interrogated on Saturday on fresh allegations of supplying documents concerning the Kimberley Process to the monitor Abbey Chikane.
His lawyer Trust Maanda confirmed last night that Maguwu was still being held at Harare Central Police Station.
Maguwu was at the weekend moved from the Remand Prison on police instructions and detained at Matapi Police Station in Mbare.
Police are expected to return the activist to Harare Remand Prison today.
His lawyers are this morning expected to apply to the High Court for bail.
The lawyers yesterday accused the police of abducting the diamond rights researcher from Harare Remand Prison.
Maanda said law enforcement agents interrogated Maguwu at Matapi Police Station in Mbare.
He said police snatched Maguwu from remand prison on Friday afternoon and had been interrogating him since Saturday.
Maguwu appeared in court last Thursday and was remanded in custody to June 23. Police however allegedly removed him from there without knowledge or consent of his lawyers – an unlawful action.
“The CID Law and Order officers stealthily took him from remand without advising us,” Maanda said.
“They thought we would not know. Actually, they ‘abducted’ him hoping he would confess to things he knows nothing about out of fear.”
When magistrate Donald Ndirowei remanded Maguwu in custody last week, he issued an order instructing the state to have Maguwu examined by a medical doctor.
Maguwu’s lawyers said in an interview yesterday that they would be making a bail application at the High Court today. International rights groups have condemned the removal of Maguwu from Remand Prison to police custody.
Nicole Fritz, director of the Southern Africa Litigation Centre: “That Farai Maguwu has been taken illegally to the Matapi Police Station and held in cells which the High Court has declared unfit for human habitation; that recurring episodes of torture take place within its cells … warrants the most serious alarm for the safety and security of Maguwu.”
Bill Watch, a parliamentary watchdog condemned the detention of Maguwu at Matapi police station.
“Holding Mr Maguwu at Matapi seems especially perverse, given that the court was told during the remand hearing that he was already unwell.”
Maguwu, director of Mutare-based Centre for Research and Development (CRD), is accused of publishing or communicating information prejudicial to the state. This would be in contravention of Section 31 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
The charges arose after he allegedly passed a document detailing human rights abuses and smuggling of diamonds in Chiadzwa to Chikane, the Kimberley Process monitor to Zimbabwe.