Artuz leader Masaraure up for murder

Local News
Reports said Issa, who was in his 20s, died after he had visited friends booked at the hotel.

BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA AMALGAMATED Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) president Obert Masaraure was yesterday arrested in connection with the death of Roy Issa, who plunged from the seventh floor of a Harare hotel in 2016.

Reports said Issa, who was in his 20s, died after he had visited friends booked at the hotel.

An inquest into Issa’s death ruled out foul play and the case was closed.

However, Masaraure was arrested at Harare Central Police Station where he had gone to fulfil his routine bail conditions for another case which is before the courts.

Dismissing the murder charges as trumped-up, his lawyer Douglas Coltart said: “He is being charged with murder. He is currently under detention. Charges are emanating from an incident that happened in 2016.

“The crazy thing is that Obert was not even at the scene on the day the incident occurred. There was an inquest conducted back then and no wrongdoing was found.”

Masaraure, who is also the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiCZ) spokesperson, is expected in court tomorrow, Coltart said.

CiCZ condemned Masaraure’s arrest, describing it as political persecution of government critics.

“The arrest of Masaraure is a calculated attempt by the State to silence all critics of Zanu PF’s misrule and misgovernance and equally a deliberate ploy to persecute human rights activists and civil society activists ahead of the 2023 elections,” CiCZ said in a statement.

“We wish to bring it to the attention of the nation that in the previous weeks, the State has been making spirited moves to bribe witnesses in a bid to come up with incriminating evidence against Masaraure, and this is also part of efforts to deflate CiCZ.”

Artuz recently won a human rights award, alongside other four rights defenders from Afghanistan, Belarus, Sudan and Mexico.

  • Follow Miriam on Twitter @FloMangwaya

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