The bail application for Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Chairperson, Rashid Mahiya, who is facing charges of plotting to overthrow the government will be heard at the High Court on Thursday 07 March 2019. The bail application has been postponed for the third time after the state failed to make submissions.
Mahiya’s lawyer, Tonderai Bhatasara from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights launched the High Court bid after Mahiya was denied bail during his initial court appearance on February 26, 2019. The High Court bid was submitted on 27th February and to date the state has failed to make submissions with the High Court on the matter
Mahiya, who is being charged for subversion as defined in Section 22 (20 (a) (i) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act had surrendered himself to the police on February 25, 2019.
The State alleges Mahiya held a series of meetings between December 3-6 2019 during which he urged members of Non Governmental Organizations and the general citizenry to engage in acts of sabotage.
Mahiya’s arrest follows a sustained attack on civil society leaders and labour in what appears as a well choreographed campaign to criminalise human rights in Zimbabwe.
Over the past two months Zimbabwe has witnessed a systematic closure of the civil society space and criminalization of their work as evidenced by the following:
- The arrest and detention of Pastor Evan Mawarire on January 16, 2019. Mawarire is facing charges of subversion
- The arrest of Japhet Moyo, the Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions on January 21, 2019. Moyo is facing charges of inciting public violence and subversion
- The arrest of Peter Mutasa, the President of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions on January 25, 2019. Mutasa is facing charges of treason
- The abduction and detention of Obert Masaraure the President of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe on January 18, 2019. Masaraure was abducted in front of his family by armed men. He was later handed over to the police
- The arrest of Robson Chere, the Secretary General of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe on January 15, 2019
- The abduction and torture of the Zimbabwe Youth Alliance Chairperson, Kumbirai Magorimbo on January 22, 2019
- The attack on the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights for providing legal representation to affected human rights defenders and other citizens
- The attacks on the Zimbabwe Doctors for Human Rights for providing emergency treatment to victims of torture as well as for documenting cases of army shootings
Source: Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition