ZRP, Ministers apologise to Mahlangu, compensate him

TWO Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) members, former Attorney-General Johannes Tomana and the Home Affairs Ministry have apologised to Mordecai Mahlangu, a human rights lawyer and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) Board Chairperson after conceding that they violated his fundamental rights when they arrested and detained him almost a decade ago.

The ZRP members namely Henry Sostein Dowa and Clever Ntini together with the Co-Home Affairs Ministers and Tomana, who served as Attorney-General then, tendered their apologies to Mahlangu last week after acknowledging that the ZLHR Board Chairperson’s arrest and detention in November 2009 was wrongful and unlawful.

In a Deed of Settlement signed on Wednesday 31 October 2018, Dowa, Ntini and the Co-Ministers of Home Affairs, who served during the coalition government of former President Robert Mugabe and the late former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai agreed to pay Mahlangu a total of $13 500 to cover his legal costs before Friday 30 November 2018.

Mahlangu was placed under arrest and spent one night at Harare Central Police Station cells in November 2009 on a trumped up charge of attempting to obstruct the course of justice. He was apprehended after he sought to highlight to the State the difficulties the authorities would encounter in using Mutare arms dealer Michael Peter Hitschmann as a State witness during the trial of the late former MDC-T legislator Roy Bennett.

Through summons filed at the High Court by his lawyers Advocate Thabani Mpofu instructed by Raymond Moyo of ZLHR, Mahlangu argued that his arrest in 2009 was not warranted as he was acting purely as a legal practitioner giving advice in accordance with his professional requirements.

Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights

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