HUMAN rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa has condemned the State for allegedly violating the constitutional rights of arrested war veterans’ association secretary-general Victor Matemadanda by refusing to take him to court within a reasonable time.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Matemadanda, who was arrested on Wednesday on charges of undermining the authority of the President, was last night taken to the Harare Magistrates’ Court as the State sought to get a warrant to extend his detention.
Mtetwa slammed the attempt by the police to have the court sit at night while they deliberately delayed bringing Matemadanda to court after arresting him on Wednesday morning.
“This is night justice by night courts, the State has been holding meetings since we got here at six with the magistrate in the absence of the defence. This is highly irregular because the magistrate is not supposed to entertain one side,” fumed Mtetwa.
The court did not sit, resulting in the police taking Matemadanda, who is seen as Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s close ally, into custody.
Mtetwa said the police wanted to travel with Matemadanda to his Gokwe home at 4pm for a search. But he refused saying he was uncomfortable travelling with State agents at night and on dangerous roads.
Matemadanda is now expected in court this morning, but Mtetwa said it was not clear what the State would be presenting in court because they had not been favoured with State papers.