ARTUZ National Secretary General Robson Chere, ARTUZ Mashonaland West Provincial Chairperson Munyaradzi Ndawana, Lawyer Douglas Coltart, Precious Ndlovu and Jessica Drury, are appearing at Harare Magistrate’s court tomorrow on the 4th of March 2020 at 0800. They are charged with participating in a gathering with the intent of inciting public violence. This emanated from the 27th of April 2019 when they were abducted by about 10 men in plain clothes suspected to be Central Intelligence agents. The agents illegally forced themselves into a private property without a search warrant, in Greystone Park Harare, when the leaders were discussing Paulo Freire book titled “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”.
They were dumped at a suspected Central Intelligence Organisation in Harare where Chere and Ndawana were physically tortured while Jessica and Precious were psychologically manipulated for several hours before being handed over to Criminal Investigation Department Law and Order, and released on the same day.
Their torture by the state agents violated section 53 of the National constitution which states that, “No person maybe subjected to physical or psychological torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.
The the constitution of Zimbabwe protects the right to freedom of expression which includes the right to seek, receive and communicate ideas (section 61) and the right to participate in collective gatherings or groups or any other manner, in peaceful activities to influence, challenge or support the policies of the government or any other cause, (section 67).
As ARTUZ, we encourage the responsible authorities to respect the rights of trade unionists. We also call upon our members and like minded individuals and organisations to be in solidarity with our Cdes tomorrow at Harare Magistrate’s Court.
Source: Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ)