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Arrested War Veterans To Spend Another Night In Custody

39 former liberation fighters who were arrested on Tuesday for protesting against low pensions will spend another night in custory after Harare Magistrate Barbra Mateko deferred her ruling on application by the ex-combatants lawyers for refusal of remand, to Friday 29 October 2021.

The war veterans lawyers led by Paidamoyo Saurombe and Tinashe Chinopfukutwa from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights filed complaints that their clients were detained without being charged and only made to sign warned and cautioned statements the following morning after they had petitioned the Police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga.

Chinopfukutwa also complained before Magistrate Mateko that their clients were detained for more than the prescribed 48 hours as they were arrested at 1010 hours on Tuesday and only brought to court at 1100 hours on Thursday.

However, the state argued that the accused persons arrived at court before 1000 hours while insisting that they were informed of their charges at the crime scene.

The state further claimed that warned and cautioned statements took long to prepare due to the number of accused persons.

Mateko will deliver her ruling on the two applications by the war veterans’ lawyers tomorrow at 1115am.

The 39 war veterans are being charged with participating in a gathering with intend to promote public violence, breaches of peace or bigotry as defined in Section 37(i)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reforms Act

According to the state, the war veterans gathered at Africa Unity Square singing ‘chimurenga songs’ with intend to promote public violence or breaches of peace, security or order of the public.

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Journalist based in Harare

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