The SADC Lawyers Association (SADC-LA) has condemned the recent assault of human rights lawyer, Kudzai Kadzere who was beaten by police officers on Saturday.
The lawyer was left with a broken hand after the assault while attending to Citizens Coalition for Change activists and the party’s organising secretary, Amos Chibaya.
Among the 25 were three senior citizens aged 83, 72 and 61, a minor girl and a member of parliament Amos Chibaya.
The activists were arrested for violating the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act (MOPA) after they held an internal party meeting at another CCC legislator Costa Machingauta’s house in Budiriro.
The accused persons appeared at court Monday and were remanded in custody after the State opposed bail.
A statement from the SADC-LA said: “SADC-LA deeply regrets and strongly condemns the attack on lawyer Mr Kudzai Kadzere in Harare, Zimbabwe by members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) on the 14th of January 2023.’
SADC-LA further implored the government to swiftly ensure the protection of lawyers and other key stakeholders such as journalists in the discharge of their mandate.
It called on the responsible authorities to hold to account those responsible for the unsanctioned violation of Kadzere and his clients’ constitutionally enshrined rights.
The country is facing an increase in the amount of violence at a time when elections are on the horizon.
To this end, SADC-LA called on SADC and the AU to provide swift and adequate support to the Government of Zimbabwe, and relevant stakeholders to ensure a neutral environment for the enforcement and enjoyment of all human rights.
“This is in accordance with the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG), the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers as well as Zimbabwe’s own constitution,” the statement.