AN ex-Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) agent and Bindura University lecturer Obediah Dodo has been arrested alongside his student, a serving member of the police force, for allegedly publishing a 2008 election violence report on an American website.
REPORT BY EVERSON MUSHAVA CHIEF REPORTER
Both Dodo (38) and police Assistant Inspector Collen Musorowegomo (39) were arrested for contravening Section 31 (a) of the Criminal Law (Codification) and Reform Act Chapter 9.23).
The two were remanded in custody to December 7 when they briefly appeared at the Bindura Magistrates’ Court on Monday.
The court denied them bail, arguing they were a flight risk and likely to interfere with State investigations.
According to the State, the two connived to author a document titled Political intolerance, diversity and democracy: youths violence in Bindura urban, Zimbabwe, and posted it on a website for the American International Journal of Contemporary Research.
“Most of the contents of the document compiled on the guidelines of assessing and evaluating the level of youth participation in violence in Bindura are wholly false and prejudicial to the State,” the State papers read.
The two, however, confirmed authoring the document, but argued that they produced it as a research project for learning purposes and sought protection under the Academic Act.
Dodo and Musorowegomo are from the Peace and Governance Studies department.
They said the information was obtained through a survey that included questionnaires and interviews with identified samples in Bindura and the information in the report could be a true reflection of what was happening in the area.
Dodo and Musorowegomo said the surveys cited State security agents such as the army, police, prison guards and the CIO as having played a key role in inciting youths to engage in acts of violence between 1999-2011.
They also claimed in the report that MDC-T activists in Bindura fled their homes as the violence escalated in the area.
Part of the violence report reads: “Innocent civilians were butchered, maimed and killed by political activists supported by security agents. The youths were all over committing crimes without any arrest. This situation of anarchy whereby the youth robe, loot or rape at will also played as a major motivation for continued violence by the unemployed youth.”
Dodo and Musorowegomo added that President Robert Mugabe’s 2010 blanket amnesty on political prisoners had incited violence as “criminals and political criminals had the belief and knowledge that the government would pardon them for any wrongdoing as long as it was perpetrated in the name of Zanu PF”.
The two are being represented by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.