Twenty-nine Chingwizi Transit Camp villagers who were last Sunday arrested after violent clashes between police and the camp settlers, on Tuesday made their initial appearance at Chiredzi Magistrates’ Court where they were charged with committing public violence.
Police had initially rounded up over 300 villagers, but 29 remained to face the public violence charges.
The suspects, according to the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), told the court they were assaulted and tortured during arrest and while in detention.
The presiding Magistrate had to briefly adjourn court proceedings to allow the villagers’ legal representatives from the ZLHR -Phillip Shumba, Collin Maboke, Martin Mureri and Blessing Nyamaropa- to question the police investigating officer over the assault and torture complaints raised against the police.
More details to follow.