Families of Missing Opposition Legislator, Youth Leaders Petition High Court to Ascertain Whereabouts Amid Abduction Fears

THE families of an opposition MDC-Alliance party legislator and two youth leaders on Thursday 14 May 2020 filed a habeas corpus application in the High Court seeking an order to compel police officers and other state security agents to investigate and ascertain the whereabouts of the trio.

In an application filed at High Court by Jeremiah Bamu, a member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, representatives of the families of Harare North legislator Hon. Joana Mamombe, Cecelia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova, stated that their family members went missing on Wednesday 13 May 2020 after they were arrested at a check point mounted by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) members and some members of Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) along Samora Machel Avenue while on their way into Harare’s central business district from Warren Park high-density suburb.

Mamombe raised alarm advising that they were detained at Harare Central Police Station but upon arrival at the police station the lawyers were told that the trio was not detained there while searches by lawyers at various police stations such as Milton Park, Rhodesville, Milton, Mbare, Matapi, Stodart and Braeside Police Stations could not yield anything.

Letters written to ZRP and ZNA by Bamu demanding that the law enforcement agents account for the whereabouts of Mamombe, Chimbiri and Marova were not responded to.

Bamu, who listed Home Affairs and Cultural Affairs Minister Kazembe, Owen Ncube, the Minister of State for National Security in the President’s Office and Zimbabwe Republic Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga and Isaac Moyo, the Director-General of Central Intelligence Organisation, argued that he believes that there is a serious risk that the security and life of his clients are in real jeopardy as they are being detained illegally and in violation of their rights enshrined in the Constitution and hence the need for the intervention of the High Court.

The trio’s lawyer wants the High Court to determine the whereabouts of his clients including advertising within 12 hours of the granting of the court order on all state media, including on all radio stations, ZTV, The Herald and The Chronicle and to set up a team of investigators who shall work closely and in conjunction with lawyers appointed by ZLHR to search for the missing trio at all places within Zimbabwe as maybe reasonably practical, and report on such search to the Registrar of the High Court, on every Friday during office hours.

Kazembe, Ncube, Matanga and Moyo, Bamu said, should also be ordered to inquire from, and where necessary obtain any such information as may be necessary for the investigations from mobile phone service operators to try and locate Mamombe, Chimbiri and Marowa through tracing the mobile phone numbers that were on their person on 13 May 2020.

Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights

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