‘Maldives 7’ human rights activists removed from remand

Tatenda Mombeyarara

A HARARE magistrate yesterday removed from remand seven human rights activists who were being charged with trying to subvert a constitutional government after attending a training workshop in Maldives.
The seven are Frank Mpahlo, Beauty Rita Nyampinga (61) of Communications Services and Allied Union Workers of Zimbabwe, Sithabile Dewa (34) of Women’s Academy Leadership in Political Science, George Makoni, of Centre for Community Development in Zimbabwe, Tatenda Mombeyarara, from International Socialist, Gamuchirai Mukura from Community Tolerance Reconciliation and Development (Cotrad), Nyasha Mpahlo of Green Governance Zimbabwe and Farirai Gumbonzvanda of Rosaria Memorial Trust.
The suspects were being represented by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights member Jeremiah Bhamu and Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission commissioner Jessie Majome.
Magistrate Barbara Mateko removed the seven from remand after the State failed to honour a High Court order to provide a trial date yesterday.
Allegations were that the seven travelled to Maldives where they went through a training workshop organised by a Serbian Non-governmental Organisation called Centre for Applied Non-Violent Action and Strategies with intent to subvert a constitutionally-elected government.
It was alleged that during the workshop, they received training on how to mobilise citizens to turn against the government and to engage in acts of civil disobedience and or resistance to any law during the anticipated national protest by anti-government movements.
The State further alleged that the five trained on how to operate small arms, evade arrest during civil unrest and were taught on counter intelligence and acts of terrorism.
It was alleged that on May 27 they were intercepted and arrested upon arrival at Robert Mugabe’s International Airport upon their return from Maldives.