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The Farai Maguwu story so far: Lawyer’s Diary

 

Tinoziva Bere

The lawyer representing detained diamond abuses researcher Farai Maguwu has been documenting his client’s legal fight from the first day he was arrested. Maguwu is the Director of the Centre for Research and Development (CRD). Below is a collection of all the updates from Mutare based lawyer Tinoziva Bere.

Friday 04 June 2010

I wish we had good news to report but this update is of what many of you must be expecting. There are no new developments in the case. No statement was recorded from him. The police had said they were waiting for some information before recording a statement and taking Farai to court but persistent inquiries today proved that the explanation was possibly not true.

The holdup is in Harare and by whoever in Harare ordered Farai’s arrest. Farai spends another night in jail and all day was spent in either visiting CID offices or the cells to see client. The many phone calls we did yielded nothing.

CID officers in Mutare were unable to help us or shed light on what has caused the delay or who in fact we are waiting for. We believe from evidence of what transpired in the arrest of Farai’s relatives that nobody in Manicaland has authority to handle the case till some police officer in Harare, one Makedenge and another have given authority. We also believe it is the two that we are waiting for.

We are also satisfied that despite Farai handing himself in person and voluntarily, the refusal to give him police bail or release him to our custody is because of higher orders. It is sad that in a civilized society a suspect is detained indefinitely and no effort is made to bring him expeditiously to court. The most likely date of court appearance is Tuesday which will mean that after 9am tomorrow Farai’s detention will have exceeded 48 hours and hence be illegal.

We met and briefed Farai today and he is in good health and in good spirits. He thanks all for the support. We have made arrangements for his feeding at meal times when we cannot do it ourselves. His family is afraid to come and do this chore and so it’s now a lawyer’s task…such is ZIMBABWE.

The allegations have not changed but we would not be surprised if fresh or different charges are actually preferred.

Regards

Tino Bere & Johane Zviuya

Day 3: Saturday 05/06/2010

Today is day three of Farai Maguwu’s incarceration. If your get this update twice please advise us so that I correct my mailing list. I wish I had some good news or some progress to report. Sadly I do not have any good news.

The Case

There is no progress. After all day at the Police Station, from 9.30am till 5.45pm we are where we were yesterday. No statement was recorded and there is no evidence of investigation at all or readiness to take him to court. There is no knowledge among even the most senior local CID officers as to when the statements will be recorded and Farai taken to court.

At 9.00am today Farai exceeded legally set maximum of 48 hours of imprisonment without being brought before the court. We are certain that some hastily prepared Warrant for Further Detention has been signed to justify his continued detention. We confronted the Officer in Charge and the Officer Commanding the Province Law and Order Section.

Neither could answer the simple question of why in two days a statement could not be recorded. We are satisfied that the arrest was ordered from Harare and that it is malicious and that the delay in recording statements is intended to keep Farai in jail for as long as possible. We will review the position on Monday and seek court relief if necessary.

Farai’s Health

I do not wish you colleagues to panic but I am obliged to share some concern that I and my Partner and co-counsel Johane Zviuya have over Farai’s health.  

On visiting Farai Maguwu this morning we discovered that he was shivering and feverish. When we asked him, he explained that the one blanket that he and several others had over them last night was taken from them and he spent the night without a blanket and in the morning he started feeling feverish and shivering uncontrollably. He also developed a sore throat. We also observed that his breathing was unusual.

We brought this to the attention of the captors and requested that Farai be seen by one of his doctors immediately. We offered to have either of his two personal doctors come and examine him at the police station but the police refused stating that it has to be a government medical officer.

We then demanded that they take him to the government medical officer and were told that there was no vehicle at that time and one would be arranged. After waiting for nearly two hours Farai was still in the cells and not receiving attention. We called his other personal doctor who is a government medical officer. He personally came and offered to help but again the police declined.

The police insisted that the legal process is that the police themselves take Farai to the General Hospital. We pleaded with them to make this happen speedily and received a mere promise. We offered our own transport and this was declined. We then wrote a formal demand for treatment for Farai and served it at CID officers. At 1:00pm the CID officer on duty changed his stance from waiting for transport to waiting for superiors. During lunch this officer left, never answering his phone thereafter. We maintained a Virgil at the Police Station and none of the responsible officers ever showed up and Farai was not taken to any doctor or to any hospital.

Farai is spending the night in the same cold Police cell that has caused him illness under guard of people who care little for his health or welfare, (at least judging by the cruelty of refusing him medical attention). All day there were vehicles parked at Police Station and many others that drove in and out but none could be availed to take a sick prisoner to hospital. Our demand that Farai be provided with warm blankets so that the fever does not get out of control and that if the conditions in jail are not conducive to his healing speedily, that he admitted to hospital promptly, was ignored.

On the positive side Farai is very strong and positive about his situation. We gave him some throat lozenges and pain killers to make the suffering bearable. This may be a mere cold/flu or something minor, we could not tell, only a medical examination could have determined with certainty.

Tomorrow we resume the battle and have placed an Advocate on notice to do an urgent High Court application should the cruelty persist and his condition not improve.

Regards

Tino Bere & Johane Zviuya

Update 4-Farai Maguwu:  Sunday 06/06/2010

We write this urgent update to advise that Farai slept better but is still ill. They have still not taken him to hospital or allowed a doctor to see him.

An attempt was made to secretly take him out of cells for interrogation by Dowa and his team from Harare and we stormed into the office and demanded they respect his rights. Despite our protests we were barred from the meeting and they interrogated him for over an hour. This is in violation of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. It seems clear that the arrest was for purposes of investigation again in violation of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

We were then allowed access to him alone. He is fine and he was not tortured or harassed. They have now decided to take him for investigations to Harare but they may bring him back to Mutare for the court appearance, they won’t commit. They have agreed that we escort him which we are doing shortly. We will likely spend the night in Harare and possibly arrange legal support in Harare unless they bring him back. They are refusing to say when he will go to court or when they will record statements.

We are pushing for medical examination before departure. We may have no access to internet for a while so those keen to keep up with these fast developments have to try our cell numbers at the end of the previous briefs.

 Regards

Tino Bere & Johane Zviuya

Final Update 4-Farai Maguwu: Sunday 06/06/2010

Colleagues

When we sent you the last update we were really pressed for time and left Mutare in a hurry and were in Harare in 2 hours chasing the Police in order to escort Farai. The two of us, Johane Zviuya and I hurriedly packed our bags to drive to HARARE to ensure that Farai was taken to a safe place and to arrange legal support should the case become Harare based.

Unknown to us they turned into Mutare General Hospital and kept an earlier promise to have him examined. Farai was examined but not by a doctor and the outpatient section of the hospital staff diagnosis is that he has tonsillitis. They prescribed medication which we bought for him and he has started to take that and he says he feels better.

Back to the chase. We raced to Harare Central and waited for the Police who arrived safely with Farai about 1 and half hours later. Farai was well and unharmed and he confirmed that he had received a medical examination and an instant Malaria lab test which was said to be negative. He then gave us his hospital card which had a prescription for a pain killer, an antihistamine and an antibiotic which we bought. He took his first doze but we have kept the medication and will be administering it ourselves at every visit per agreement with the Police.

We also asked that he be detained at a less crowded and less run down police cell at Rhodesville where he joins Marondera MP, Ian Kay detained for trying to help the poor access medical treatment! We have left him safely lodged there and we hope they keep their promise to give him blankets so that his fever does not aggravate.  

The Police have promised to meet with us for statement recording at 8am tomorrow the 7th June 2010 and to take Farai to court for initial remand and bail application at 2pm of the same day. We will be watching to ensure they keep their promise.

After the early morning confrontation between us and the Investigating Officer there has been no further confrontation. We have no complaints about the rest of the day. We hope that the case does go to court tomorrow and that the court will grant bail since Farai handed himself to the Police voluntarily. We also hope that the Prosecutor will not oppose bail or if he does, that he will not use the often maliciously used section121 of the Zimbabwe Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, to prevent release of persons granted bail.

We have enlisted onto our team Mr. Trust Maanda of Maunga, Maanda & Associates. We are grateful for the support we received from Mr. Maanda. Mr. Maunga and Mr. Bamu who joined us at the Police Station from start to finish and Mr. Dzimbabwe Chimbga who came for a while.  

Farai will need a proper medical examination, that is, an examination by a doctor who is able to run further tests to ascertain his ailment in view of his condition. For now we are focusing on his release and if that fails then an order for him to be seen by a doctor and for the jailers to give him adequate blankets in order that he stays warm.  

We have another long day tomorrow and must rest now. Good night and please do keep Farai in your prayers.

Regards

Tino Bere & Johane Zviuya

Day 6 Update-Farai Maguwu finally appears In Court

Colleagues

The good news is that Farai finally appeared in Court at Harare Rotten Row Court on 8th June 2010. The bad news is that he is still in jail. Farai appeared before Magistrate Mr. Ndirovei at 11am. He was represented by me, Johane Zviuya and Trust Maanda. We provided the court with detailed written submissions covering the complaints. The state was ordered to investigate the complaints.

Farai was charged in terms of Section 31 of The Criminal Code alleging publication of falsehood against the state with the intention or well knowing that it is likely to cause prejudice to the security or economic interests of the country. The charge is different from the one used at arrest, it is slightly different from the one used on 7th June 2010 in respect of names of alleged recipients. The Defence strongly objected to the placing of Farai on remand on the grounds that the facts themselves as stated did not constitute an offence and the section used was not only unconstitutional but it was already the subject to a similar challenge. The State counsel then argued that she was not ready and sought postponement to 2.15pm 9th June 2010 and the Magistrate despite strong objections ruled in her favour but fixed the time of 8.30am the 9th June 2010.

Farai is sadly still in jail but at Remand Prison. CSU has taken over arrangements for feeding which we have been doing. We are relieved that we may have saved Farai from torture that is brother suffered. We are hopeful that the case will be finished tomorrow though the ruling may be on Thursday.  

If our objections are upheld by the court then Farai will be freed. If not then we will apply for bail which will be opposed on the grounds which include “n allegation that Farai earns his living from demonizing the country and so if he is granted bail he will continue to demonize Zimbabwe. The logic was that be kept in jail to prevent him further demonizing Zimbabwe. Interestingly there is no offence of demonizing in Zimbabwe. The statements are however very revealing of what the intentions are. What the police seem to think that criticizing and publishing one’s views that are critical if the government is a crime.

Farai is in good spirits and is relieved to have his day in court and to be free of police custody. Farai is still unwell and needs medical attention. That will be one of our applications should he be kept in prison. I hope this update is helpful. I am sorry it is coming this late had some reading to do and a commitment that ended nearly midnight.

Please Note: If you need us to remove you from this mailing list please advise. If you need txt updates then please text to me.

Regards

Tino Bere & Farai’ Defence Team

Day 7 Update-Farai Maguwu still in Jail-Ruling Reserved

Colleagues

Today is Wednesday 9th June 2010. It is the 7th day since Farai handed himself to police at Mutare and was arrested and detained. Farai is sadly still in jail.

Yesterday, 8th June 2010, the Attorney General sought to place Farai on remand and we objected on the grounds that there is no reasonable suspicion that he committed any crime and that the section under which he is charged is a violation of Constitutional rights and in any event it is one whose validity is already pending before the Supreme Court. The Attorney General’s representative persisted and sought time to prepare her response.

Today

The Attorney General’s representative responded and also called the investigating officer, Detective Inspector Dowa, to give evidence. In his testimony the contradictions in the state papers became so apparent and so loud that he lost his temper during cross-examination and had to be warned y the court not to point a threatening finger at Trust Maanda who was thoroughly cross-examining him.

It also emerged that the Investigating Officer, one Detective Inspector Dowa called criticism of Zimbabwe, “demonizing” and appears to think that to be a crime. He also alleged that FARAI earns a living from “demonizing” ZIMBABWE and should be kept in jail to prevent him further “demonizing” the country.

Under cross-examination he admitted to the court that he only obtained a Warrant of Further Detention on Monday 7 June 2010 well after the 48 hour detention period which expired on Saturday 5 June 2010 in the morning. His explanation was that according to his calculation the 48 hours had not expired and he had in any event informed his superiors orally. Dowa also confirmed earlier fears that this case is about KMP certification.

Rot In Jail Threat

In a heated exchange over repeated objections by the defence which were upheld by the court the Prosecutor at one time sought that the matter be adjourned for 5 minutes. The adjournment became much longer after The Prosecutor angrily declared during the adjournment that not only would she not return to the courtroom that day but the Accused (Farai) would rot in jail. We hope it was said in the heat of the moment and not something the Prosecutor would pursue as she seems to have no personal interest in the matter. She seemed more overwhelmed than malicious.

Ruling 10th June @11.15 am

We hope that in spite of the pressures from the Police, the Prosecutor will have the discretion should the matter proceed to remand. Arguments were concluded in the afternoon and the magistrate, Mr. Ndirowei postponed the matter for ruling at 11.15 am tomorrow the 10th June 2010. If our opposition succeeds then Farai will be free though in the past freed people have either been kept in jail by police defiance of court orders or have been rearrested soon after they were freed. For now it is in the hands of the court.

These proceedings have been heavily contested and vigorously argued to ensure Farai receives justice at the outset but as I said, it is now in the court’s hands. If we have to, we are ready to argue bail. There is also a risk that after any bail is granted, the prosecution may invoke the notorious section 121 and have Farai languish in jail for at least 7 days within which the Attorney General may or may not appeal.  These are the risks and with the malice we have seen, if the case proceeds to bail hearing, the police would put pressure upon the prosecution to appeal and invoke section 121 in order to keep Farai in jail.

We hope this is informative. 9th June 2010.

Regards

DEFENSE TEAM

TINOZIVA BERE-, JOHANE ZVIUYA & TRUST MAANDA

DAY 8 update-FARAI MAGUWU-placed on REMAND, BAIL DENIED: Thu 10/06/2010

Colleagues

Today was a disappointing but not surprising day.

Remand

The defense objection to Farai being placed on remand was thrown out despite the obvious difficulties which both the state evidence and its witness had. The court ruled that the weaknesses of the state case were a matter for trial. Even the questions of the constitutionality of section under which he is charged did not deter the court.

Bail Declined

We immediately applied for bail which and the AG representative predictably opposed. Ruling was reserved to 3.00 pm and when we resumed the court declined to place Farai on bail. The reasons were simple; that the case is serious and that the police are still investigating and there is a risk that Farai would interfere with witnesses. We are filing appeal tomorrow and also separately seeking urgent review of the decision to place Farai on remand.

Medical Examination and Treatment

On our application the Court ordered that FARAI be examined by a medical doctor and that he be granted access to his medication at prescribed times. Farai had had his medication discontinued through either Prisons inefficiency or someone’s malice.

Prophetic Threat

We had a feeling this was coming considering the kinds of pressure that are applied on judicial officers and the aggressiveness of the rulers of this country over CHIADZWA issues. We also were not surprised because of the drama that occurred in court 9th June 2010, before, during and after the adjournment.

As I shared with you, the Magistrate sustained 3 objections by the defence when the Prosecutor (Phyllis Zvenyika)was trying to solicit new evidence from the witness instead of confining him to his sworn statement. After the Magistrate ruled on the third objection, the Prosecutor started badgering the magistrate and was showing emotion and frustration. She abruptly demanded an adjournment. We asked why and she said for personal reasons.

We asked for how long and she said briefly and the court ruled 5 minutes. Immediately the court adjourned she confronted the defense over their sustained objections. We reminded her that if we were wrong the court would not have ruled in our favour. She then declared angrily that she was dominus litis and even for going to the toilet she could adjourn proceedings. She went on to shout that she was not returning to court and that “your client (FARAI) will rot in jail!!”. At the time it seemed like something said in frustration and the heat of the moment.

Court only resumed after over an hour of sending for the Magistrate and the Prosecutor during which the Magistrate came back to the court twice to find no prosecutor. This time the court made a u-turn and allowed all the questions it had over-ruled before the sudden adjournment. Even hearsay was admitted and the police officer testified for all the imaginary witnesses he said existed.

He even had the freedom to refuse to answer questions put to him, answer his own questions and continue making submissions like the state counsel when asked to just answer questions. To crown it all he even had the temerity to point threatening fingers at defense counsel when confronted with difficult questions.

Despite being made to apologize, his demeanor did not improve and the proceedings became anything is acceptable. We endured it maturely and focused on the job of shredding the weak case. We should not have taken the outbursts for granted.

Invoking of section 121 of CP&E

To be fair to the court, even if it had granted bail, Farai would still be in jail and having to wait for 7 days while the AG decides. We asked and were informed that the instruction had been made on Police request to invoke section 121 in the event the Magistrate stood his ground and granted bail. (Section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act is an often abused provision which suspends the order of court granting bail gives the power to the Attorney General on the mere announcement that he intends to appeal. He can then wait (as he usually does) to appeal on the last of the 7 days or to then simply not appeal).

Farai

Farai is fine. His health is improving. We are just concerned that he has had his antibiotics course interrupted. Farai also understood that the larger purpose of his imprisonment is not achieved yet and they were unlikely to let him go free. Indeed we feared that before release even if we had succeeded on any of the applications, he would have been served with fresh charges and arrested.

The police have achieved their purpose of stopping FARAI and CRD from speaking on behalf of the many victims of CHIADZWA but through the court. He thanks all for you for the support and is ready for the next phase of the battle for his freedom.

Future Updates

I must end by apologizing to those who had asked that I remove them from the mailing list but who I have not had a chance to. I will build a fresh mailing list after this update and will attend to the request for addition and the requests for removal.

Thank you

Tino Bere &Team

DAY 9 & 10 UPDATEs & FARAI MAGUWU ILLEGALLY TAKEN FROM REMAND PRISON Friday Night!  Sat 12/06/2010

Colleagues

FRIDAY

I am sure you forgive our silence. Yesterday Johane Zviuya and myself (Tinoziva Bere) returned to Mutare and left Trust to process the High Court Bail Appeal and the review application. We had been on this case daily since 3 June 2010 and in Harare since Sunday morning.

We completed our Bail Appeal papers but could not file because the record of proceedings was not available for us to double check some of our grounds. The courts were not fully operational because of the start of the World Cup. Trust gave up around 4.00 p.m. any hope of getting the court record. We will file on Monday first thing.

SATURDAY-FARAI ILLEGALLY SNATCHED FROM REMAND PRISON LAST NIGHT!

We have just received bad news from friends and relatives of Farai who we asked to keep an eye on the ground that Farai was taken illegally or without our knowledge or consent and without his consent from Harare Remand Prison to Mbare’s notorious MATAPI POLICE cells.

We deployed our Harare based team member, Trust MAANDA to investigate and he rushed to Harare Remand Prison demanding to see FARAI and if he has been taken then the identity of the person or persons who took him and where they took him and what authority they had. Sadly, Yes, it’s true, FARAI was taken last night by CID Law and Order, where the investigating Officer (Detective Inspector Dowa) is based.

The team operates under the notorious MAKEDENGE, now a Chief Superintendent. Trust Maanda is now headed to Harare Central Police Station, to Law and Order to demand the immediate return of Farai to Remand Prison and access to him to assess his condition. Beatrice Mtetwa has kindly agreed to assist and is also headed to Harare Central Police station and will meet Trust there. The plan is to seek an urgent High Court order for FARAI to be produced if he is not produced on demand now.

We have reason to fear this is for purposes of interrogation and or torture considering the complaints by FARAI’s brother of torture by some in the same team of investigators. We prevented FARAI’s possible torture or harassment last week by being present at almost all normal times and at the police station. We stopped the costly surveillance and visits because normally once remanded the Police no longer have control or access to the ACCUSED.

But Zimbabwe is not normal and so anything is possible. We noted the exasperation of the POLICE with our constant high powered presence at the side of FARAI and are not surprised, just infuriated) that they have acted as they did.

If FARAI has indeed been taken from PRISON to MBARE or any other place and should FARAI suffer any harm to his rights or person, the LESSON for the court who could have and should have liberated FARAI is that the courts that do not act to protect the innocent and desperate victims of this repressive systems do bear the blame for the wounds and or blood of victims. These authorities are determined.

CHIKANE

Chikane may not be responsible for the actions of the ZIMBABWE authorities but he bears full responsibility for exposing and reporting FARAI whom he (CHIKANE) knows and or must have known is an innocent human rights advocate. It was wrong, unprofessional and irresponsible for an INTERNATIONAL process monitor to report FARAI or anyone to any authority.

It was especially irresponsible for him to have personally attacked and denigrated FARAI in the media on issues brought to him and which he had NOT and has NEVER investigated per his duty. When one reads the part of his report about MAGUWU one is left with a distinct disgust of a kind a human rights defender feels when listening to the POLICE law and order persecutors of FARAI or to the hate talk of politicians that rule this country.

I hope this Abbey Chikane can sleep in peace every night knowing that an innocent human rights defender is daily being persecuted at the instance of and or the complaint of one he took into his confidence. I also hope that the KP community realizes what is happening and how brutality has been unleashed upon an innocent advocate for transparent inquiry into allegations of bloodletting and human suffering in CHIADZWA.

As I have said before, whether true or false… the mouth that brought alarm is being silenced before any transparent or thorough inquiry into the allegations. Chikane made the allegations and the authorities have given FARAI no peace ever since. In the meantime Chikane continues a relentless personal and unfounded media attack on an innocent defenseless incarcerated human rights defender. The authorities bolstered by Chikane’s public support have put maximum resources to imprison and silence FARAI and announced NOT a single independent or judicial inquiry into these serious allegations. If any sort of weight is placed on what Chikane is advocating then it will be a shame to all concerned including the Kimberly Process community. I hope Chikane can look at himself in the mirror and feel proud…I hope when time to sleep comes he has peaceful nights, otherwise how else could he live with himself!

We will send you an update as events unfold and pray that he is safe. Please do keep FARAI in your prayers. He needs them most now.

Regards

Tino Bere & Team

LATEST on FARAI MAGUWU as at 11.10am: Sat 12/06/2010 10:32

Colleagues

This is the latest on Farai Maguwu search.

Trust Maanda accompanied by Beatrice Mtetwa, after futile search at Harare Central, inquiry from Dowa and visit to Rhodesville Police Station are now at Matapi Police Station. Police admit they have FARAI MAGUWU in custody at MATAPI POLCE CELLS but access has been denied and as yet FARAI’s condition is unknown.

We remain hopeful that he was not harmed in terms of his rights or his person. Farai was supposed to be medically examined by a medical practitioner in terms of the court order. Farai was also supposed to be given his medication.

Instead he has been illegally removed from Remand custody and apparently taken to spend the night in arguably the country’s worst holding cells which were condemned by the Supreme Court many years ago as not fit for incarceration of humans. n fact the court ruled that to imprison a person at Matapi Police Station was a violation of the Constitutional right to be protected from inhuman and degrading treatment . Inference to infer the malicious motive or recklessness in order to aggravate Farai’s health cannot be resisted. These people know no bounds, none at all.

Kindly note that the significance of yesterday is that this is the day that Detective Inspector Dowa had told the court that he would travel to South Africa to meet with Chikane and to collect certain documents to incriminate Farai Maguwu. We know what the KP Monitor has said publicly about Farai but we do not know what kind words he may have had in private meetings with Dowa. We doubt that it is anything that will see Farai free soon.

Regards

Tino Bere

ILLEGAL REMOVAL OF FARAI MAGUWU FROM REMAND PRISON BY POLICE LAW & ORDER:  Sat 12/06/2010 12:16

Haru

Below is a summary from start to now.

Farai has been found at one of the country’s worst police cells, Matapi Police Cells. He seems unharmed and is being taken to Harare Central Police Station maybe for interrogation. Below I set out in summary the team and the events for those who may be hearing this for the first time.

Team of Lawyers

My name is Tinoziva Bere. I am Farai Maguwu’s lawyer. I am a lawyer based at Mutare with the firm Bere Brothers. I am also Vice President of Law Society and a member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights. I work on this case with Trust Maanda, a human rights lawyer (current holder of Human Rights Lawyer of the Year) based in Harare with office in Mutare and with Johane Zviuya my partner at Bere Brothers and Chairman of Manicaland Lawyers Association. This morning we sought the help of Beatrice Mtetwa (a decorated selfless human rights lawyer who needs no introduction, latest award being The 2010 ABA International Rule of law Award) to help with the search for Farai’s whereabouts and seek court intervention to stop this persecution. This is because I returned to Mutare yesterday satisfied that we had guarded Farai and saved him from physical harm or torture only to be shocked that he is not safe even at Remand Prison. He is not safe even after he has been to court.

Background and Arrest

On 3rd June 2010 I accompanied my client Farai Maguwu to Mutare CID offices because he had heard they were looking for him. On arrival he was arrested and detained. The basis for his arrest was that he was alleged to have made or published falsehoods to one Abbey Chikane the Kimberly Process Monitor. Indeed media reports a day after the arrest quoted bitter and hate filled accusation from Chikane against Farai Maguwu. The intemperate, arrogant and intolerant tone of Chikane’s accusations (made as they were without him having done any investigations) made him sound a lot like a spokesperson for the alleged human rights violators or the propaganda master of the authorities.

Court Battles

From Saturday morning till Farai appeared in Court on Tuesday 8th June 2010 he was illegally detained. He appeared in court on 7th June 2010 and we objected to remand on the basis that the state allegations were contradictory and inadequate and also that the section he was charged under was unconstitutional in that it seeks to curtail freedom of speech. The court threw out our application after 2 days of argument and also rejected our bail application. Farai was then placed on remand to 23rd June 2010, the day that the Kimberly Process meeting in Israel will end. We knew then that this was a truly political arrest, detention and persecution.

Health Abuse

On one of the cold nights in Mutare,4th June 2010 the police snatched the one blanket covering Farai. He spent the cold night on a cold cement floor and in the morning he had developed fever, throat infection and chest infection. For 2 days he was denied medical attention of medical treatment. Even the throat lozenges and pain killers that we brought him were thrown away after just one doze. By next visit he had nothing. The only medical examination he received was on Sunday in the afternoon from a nurse. Efforts to have him medically examined by his doctor were rejected. On the last day he was in Court, the 10th June we had to seek a court order that he be allowed to resume his medication which he had not had for 2 days because someone at prisons took the medication and put it away permanently. We also had to seek a court order for Farai to be medically examined by a doctor.

Current

Despite those 2 court orders being granted last night after the time for visits, Farai was secretly removed from remand. We believe this was done illegally in that the Police had neither the consent of Farai, of us his lawyers or the court that remanded him to Harare prisons. The police cannot arrest a person, charge him and oppose bail only to arrest them again from Remand Prison.

Latest

This is the latest on Farai Maguwu search. Trust Maanda accompanied by Beatrice Mtetwa, after futile search at Harare Central, inquiry from Dowa and visit to Rhodesville Police Station are now at Matapi Police Station. Police admit they have FARAI MAGUWU in custody at MATAPI POLCE CELLS but access was denied and FARAI’s condition was unknown from just after 11am till 1pm. He has now been moved to CID Law and Order for interrogation. Trust Maanda and Beatrice Mtetwa are now following. We remain hopeful that he was not harmed in terms of his rights or his person. Farai was supposed to be medically examined by a medical practitioner in terms of the court order.

Concern

Farai was also supposed to be given his medication. Instead he has been illegally removed from Remand custody and apparently taken to spend the night in arguably the country’s worst holding cells which were condemned by the Supreme Court many years ago as not fit for incarceration of humans. n fact the court ruled that to imprison a person at Matapi Police Station was a violation of the Constitutional right to be protected from inhuman and degrading treatment . Inference to infer the malicious motive or recklessness in order to aggravate Farai’s health cannot be resisted. These people know no bounds, none at all.

The KPM factor

Kindly note that the significance of yesterday is that this is the day that Detective Inspector Dowa had told the court that he would travel to South Africa to meet with Chikane and to collect certain documents to incriminate Farai Maguwu. We know what the KP Monitor has said publicly about Farai but we do not know what kind words he may have had in private meetings with Dowa. We doubt that it is anything that will see Farai free soon.

Regards

Tino Bere

Farai Maguwu interrogated over Interview with KP Monitor CHIKANE-Lawyers barred!  Sat 12/06/2010 14:51

Colleagues

This seems to have no end but we too are determined to see its end one way or the other. The vigil at Harare Central Police station by Farai Maguwu’s defence team continues. I have been confined to reviewing updates and preparing information for friends and family.

I hope this update finds you well. Following the secret arrest and secret detention of Farai Maguwu and denying lawyers access all morning, police have just now around 3.30pm the police CID officers led by Detective Inspector Dowa are now interrogation Farai Maguwu on specific allegations of what he allegedly said or gave to CHIKANE! Farai has denied that he ever gave any false testimony or false documents to CHIKANE and maintains his innocence.

He believes his persecution is a cover up of deeper wrongs done in CHIADZWA and that CHIKANE acted wrongfully and unprofessionally by agreeing to consort and collude with ZIMBABWE authorities to tarnish the image of the sole voice of the people over CHIADZWA, the Centre for Research and Development. If there ever a doubt of the KP Monitor’s role in Farai’s arrest then today is proof. Dowa told our team that he is still going to South Africa to meet CHIKANE after they are done interrogating Farai Maguwu.

Farai’s defense team members on the ground have been barred from the interrogation despite their protest and in spite of what the law says, in spite of international law and the Africa Union protection of the rights of legal practitioners.

Having listened a short while ago to an interview done with Obert Mpofu, I have a better understanding of the gravity of this persecution. The authorities are not planning any investigation of alleged abuses of human rights or killings in Chiadzwa, They are waving the sovereignty handkerchief and waving away any criticism and persecuting any critics in the process. Their media, their forces and their judicial processes are all energized to “bury” and “silence” both Centre for Research and Development and its Director, Farai Maguwu.

This one will be a long battle for Farai and all who desire what is right and just for the people of Chiadzwa and the people of Zimbabwe.

Regards

Tino Bere

DAY 11 UPDATE-FARAI still in POLICE HANDS: Sun 13/06/2010 15:57

Colleagues

I decided late yesterday to give you a break and watch some more.

Farai was interrogated on his own (with his lawyers barred) for the rest of the afternoon. At the end of the day the police still said they would not return him to Prisons because they had more investigations to do and they want to lay fresh charges. The Prisons authorities claim that Farai was booked out for 48 hours by the police and they expect him to be returned Monday.

Today one of the defence team members, Beatrice Mtetwa tried to see Farai in the mid morning and the police at Harare Central refused claiming that Farai can only be seen on the express authority of and in the presence of Law and Order officers who were all not available. Attempts to feed Farai by the family also failed.

As I write this update efforts are underway to try and get at least one meal to Farai. If this fails then he is stuck with the jail food which is poor even for people that are not battling illness. The punishment through incarceration before finding of guilt continues as does the frustration of Farai’s work through this persecution.

Tomorrow we weigh our options but will definitely file an appeal against the denial of bail.

Regards

Tino Bere

DAY 12-MORNING UPDATE-FARAI MAGUWU PERSECUTION:  Mon 14/06/2010 10:24

Colleagues

I send this update as the first for today so that when events have unfolded I can give you an end of day summary.

Farai was finally given some food after a struggle and the person who saw him only saw him from a distance but he says he looked fine. At Harare Central Police Station in the police cells where he is being held visitors have been barred and lawyers are not allowed access since yesterday. This morning the family abandoned attempts to feed him after repeated refusal by the police.

Our plan

Our team, especially Trust Maanda who is on the ground is focusing on obtaining a copy of the record of proceedings, requesting urgent transcription of the record of proceedings, filing Bail appeal to the High Court, filing an Application for Review of Remand Proceedings and finally possibly an application to compel compliance with orders on examination by a doctor and access to treatment as well as one to stop arrests and extraction from Prison and the barring of legal representation and presence during interrogation. It’s a lot to do in one day so it’s our plan for this week and we shall inform as each is done.

Chikane Connection/Allegations/Claims

Farai’s original arrest was blamed by the Police charges that he allegedly published falsehoods to Abbey Chikane. That is what Farai’s detention record showed on 3rd June 2010. The charges on the warned and cautioned statement then departed and named publication of false reports to 2 other persons. Then in Court the charges were to the 2 others and one new person. During Dowa’s testimony he then revealed that Farai had allegedly published falsehood to CHIKANE and that the police were going to meet CHIKANE on Friday to collect the allegedly false documents.

After the drama of the illegal removal from remand and incarceration at the worst police holding cells in the country it emerged and the police confirmed that they were now investigating the allegations arising from CHIKANE’s complaints against Farai Maguwu. Dowa reiterated to the defence team that he was still going to meet with CHIKANE and to collect documents once he is done with the interrogation. They also claimed they will lay fresh charges over the CHIKANE business.

Farai is satisfied that his suffering is the result of what CHIKANE said and gave to the authorities after FARAI’s testimony in confidence to ABBEY CHIKANE, the Kimberly Process Monitor. A reading of the Chikane report on the part that deals with Farai Maguwu shows such intolerance and anger at FARAI that is consistent with that of the Zimbabwean authorities. It is hard to imagine that CHIKANE wrote that part himself.

FARAI maintains that ABBEY CHIKANE had the following obligations among others:-

1. to maintain utmost confidentiality during his investigations and protect witnesses.

2. to investigate any allegations pertinent to his terms of reference brought to his attention.

FARAI believes that ABBEY CHIKANE:

a) failed to maintain confidentiality during his investigation and failed to protect FARAI, a witness and went on to lie against him and denigrate FARAI as a fraudster in both the KP Monitor report and in the KP Monitor’s many media releases.

b) failed to investigate any of the allegations and or concerns raised with him by FARAI and instead turned in Farai Maguwu and attacked him mercilessly and falsely in both the LP Monitor’s report and in the media.

Farai believes that it is a shameful scandal for both the man and the principal that sent him. At the very least if the KP Monitor did not wish to investigate the allegations and considered his brief to be blind belief in government authorities then he should have left FARAI alone instead of doing dirty government propaganda on a human rights organization and a human rights activist.

Silenced

CRD and Farai have been silenced singularly by the actions of the very Kimberly Process which they attempted to assist. The choice of the remand date, 23 June 2010 was not accidental. The multiplication or splitting of counts into many charges which the police are planning is also not accidental, it is deliberate. Finally, the dismissal of the objection to remand and the denial of remand were also not accidental or the normal functioning of Zimbabwe’s judicial system.

We who were in the process know how much higher this persecution goes. One needs not go beyond the recent VOA Studio 7 interview given by a Cabinet Minister. Since Farai cannot speak for himself now, he hopes what he has been subjected to speaks louder than he could ever do were he free.

Current Events

They refused to return Farai to remand prison and continue with holding him in the cold police cells where he cannot be fed or be visited by his family and his legal practitioners. These events are occurring against the backdrop of defiance of a court order to give Farai access to his medication and to a proper medical examination by a qualified medical doctor.

Please bear with us should the next update come late because the team is overwhelmed now.

Regards

Tino Bere & Defence Team

13-UPDATE-FARAI MAGUWU BAIL IN HIGH COURT-16TH JUNE 2010 at 9am

Colleagues

My desk is still a mess. The soccer is boring. The dictators are offending me daily. My client is still in jail and this is day 13 of his incarceration. I have to do a daily update so that those anxious may be at peace. When last seen yesterday Farai was fine. He is surprisingly strong for a man living under hellish conditions and so much pressure and having been denied medication and medical attention.

Tomorrow we resume Court battles in the High Court. Johane Zviuya      will now become backup should there be flare-up here in Mutare where the case may ultimately return for trial but in the High Court tomorrow will be Trust Maanda, Beatrice Mtetwa and myself.

Maybe the High Court orders his release but that would be as it should….it is what the captors do in return. They can appeal and keep him inside one more day or week or they can release him and re-arrest on the same or similar cooked up charges or they can simply defy the order. Yet in spite of that risk of justice being frustrated, we must pursue it by peaceful persistent means.

I have 2 critical activities of 2 civic boards that I sit on, one which I chair. The updates may not be as prompt and the replies to your emails may be slightly slower that you are used and I may not pick up your calls. Do bear with me. I will send an update immediately after the ruling on tomorrow’s application that’s for sure. Depending on the outcome, my availability will be affected as I have warned above.

Thank you all for your support for Farai. We shall be in touch tomorrow after court. Please keep Farai in your prayers.

Regards

Tino Bere & Farai’s Defence Team  

time always tells

Tuesday 15 June

COLLEAGUES

I thought I was done with you for today but I have just received information that FARAI has been moved from Harare Central Police Station back to Harare Remand Prison where he had been secretly signed out and taken by the Police Friday night.

The family was unable to feed him because he had been moved. Law and Order confirmed this to be the position. We do not know what they have achieved by the lengthy interrogations from which they barred us as Farai’s lawyers. We will know in time what tactical use they employ their new concoctions.

Farai has reserved his rights to contest the illegal actions of the police but for now the focus is on the bail appeal. We shall keep you informed. Farai’s bail appeal is before Justice Chinembiri Bhunu. We hope for the best.

Regards

Tino Bere

DAY 14- UPDATE-FARAI MAGUWU BAIL APPEAL FRUSTRATED by AG-MEDICAL EXAM ORDERED

Dear Colleagues

Apologies

My apologies, my laptop adapter fuse packed up and it took a while for me to find a solution so this comes late. Today was significantly testing on our nerves. Beatrice Mtetwa, Trust Maanda and I spent most of the day either in court or at Remand Prison. We did get into court but the main case never took off because of the usual self-serving delaying tactics. The angry declaration by Attorney General Representative Phyllis Zvenyika on 9th June 2010 that Farai would “rot in jail” seems to be curse that plagues this case. The conduct and attitude of each succeeding Attorney General representative seems dead set to achieve the threat/declaration.

Bail Appeal Postponed by a day

Today was particularly challenging. Farai Maguwu’s bail appeal was not heard despite spending all day in court, despite having served the notice of appeal as required by the rules. It has been postponed to 2.00pm 17th June 2010.

We endured the senseless repetitive monologue of an Attorney General representative who sought postponement of Farai’s Bail Appeal to Friday the 18th June 2010 for most of the day. He was allowed to do this for a significant part of the morning and all of the afternoon. Even when asked to quote the law he relied on for his submissions he had none.

Farai Medically Examined finally

The only good to come out of today was that the High Court (Justice Bhunu) agreed with our concern at the defiance of the court order for Farai to be medically examined and ordered immediate medical examination by a medical doctor of Farai’s choice.

This was after we established that not only had there been persistent denial of medical attention but that this had continued even after the Court order issued on 10th June 2010 and of greater concern was the discontinuation of hospital prescribed medication and attempts to substitute it with some other medication not prescribed by a doctor.

A doctor has now finally examined Farai and true to our fears his health has been compromised and he needs urgent further investigation and treatment to deal with the state of the throat infection. The Prison authorities are co-operating with the Court Order and we are hopeful that by 2pm when court resumes, there will have been full compliance and Farai’s health situation will be under control. Farai remains resolute and strong in facing all these challenges and expresses great appreciation for all that have stood by him and his cause in these hard times.

Threats over the Weekend

Farai advises that 3 disturbing incidences occurred over the weekend at Harare Central Police Station. One was of threats made by 2 individuals to whom he was handed over for interrogation by Law and Order in the absence of his lawyers. These two threatened to cause untold harm upon him if he did not co-operate with the police. He does not know their names but described them as mean.

The other incidence was a threat by Law and Order officers that by listening to his legal practitioners Farai was making his life harder and diminishing his chances of early release. The last threat was made to Farai late at night around 9.00pm when a heavily built senior person (not clear if from Police or other branch of government) came to the cells and demanded to see Farai.

At first Farai ignored because the name was being miss-called and because he was apprehensive as to the purpose of calling him so late. He finally gave in and asked to accompany this man out of the cells and once out this man threatened to make life very hard for Farai and cause unspecified harm to Farai. Farai was also told during relocation back to Remand Prison that his relocation had been on orders of KGIV which is a military establishment and this greatly concerned him.

These concerns have been brought to the attention of the court and a request made that Farai be NOT removed from Remand Prison without informing his lawyers. The court has not ruled on this. If bail is not granted we will pursue this as an order. The authorities have resources to shuttle Farai for detention and harassment at places other than remand but not to take him to a medical doctor! And the Attorney General defends anything they do. It’s so hard to be polite to these people!

Team

Johane Zviuya is tied up in Mutare. Beatrice Mtetwa has to attend a funeral in Swaziland. That leaves Trust and I to do battle tomorrow against an Attorney General’s Office that has lost independence and objectivity. They do the bidding of the police and use every tactic to imprison suspects for as long as they possibly can. We trust justice is not further delayed tomorrow but will be little surprised if it is… we are fortified though that as long as no harm is caused to Farai through health degeneration or other means as the Prison authorities allow unauthorized removals from Prison, time will eventually run out on all these schemes.

Because of the costs involved the cell phone updates have been slowed down but if you are desperate for specific information please text a request.

Let me rest, more news later today.

Regards

Tino Bere

for Farai Maguwu  Defence Team

time always tells

DAY 15- UPDATE-FARAI MAGUWU Bail postponed to 21 June 2010-Farai in Hospital

Colleagues

Sorry for this late update. The times impose upon us odd hours of work.

Bail Postponed to Monday 21 June 2010

Farai’s bail hearing took place today and Trust Maanda and I argued that Farai be granted bail since he handed himself over and there are other many compelling reasons. The Attorney General representative, Mr. Murevanhema argued vigorously against granting of bail. The judge postponed the case for ruling on Monday 21st June 2010 indicating that his day on Friday 18th June 2010 is overloaded already with work. We wait for the outcome.

The day set is one day before the date stated by Detective Dowa that he would be done with investigation, it is also 2 days before the day the Kimberly process will wind down and it is 2 days before the date of remand given to Farai. All matters point to a worrying resolve by the State to keep Farai in jail. It is now in the hands of the learned Judge,

Farai admitted to hospital

As a result of illness he contracted in police cells following deprivation of blankets, denial of medical attention and unlawful discontinuation of medication, Farai is finally receiving treatment and has been admitted to Avenues Clinic. This is so that he gets proper medical examination, tests, treatment and observation. I visited him after finishing at court and he was on a drip but alert and improving. If there was any good news in this very hard and fruitless week it is this. Those wishing to visit please note that you may be required to first get written permission from Remand Prison. We trust that he will not be illegally checked out of hospital.

Trial Observer

I should share with you that all week we had a guest who was observing the proceedings. Mr. David Cote from Lawyers for Human Rights South Africa was kindly seconded to be a trial observer by International Commission for Jurists. We are most thankful for his attendance and to ICJ for the initiative and for facilitating. He must have been observing all the delaying tactics and will be reporting soon we are sure. Thank you David, thank you Arnold, thank you ICJ and thank you LHR.

Let me also thank all of you for the continued support for Farai.

Regards

Tino Bere

DAY 16-Update-Farai Maguwu-SURGERY  then CRUELTY Fri 18/06/2010

Colleagues

I write to give you an update of Farai’s situation.

Surgery

Farai is still in hospital at Avenues Clinic. He had to be go into surgery on his throat I believe to remove tonsils because of his condition. He is receiving good medical care and treatment. He seems to be recovering well. When I saw him he was in visible pain but assured me that he is feeling fine. I was with him for close to an hour and he had been visited by his close family and friends. But for the intervention of the High Court the need for urgent surgery would have escaped notice. We can only speculate he also was visited by the Africa Director of the International Commission of Jurists and the Advocacy Officer of Law Society of Zimbabwe among others.

Concern over CRUELTY by MURINGANI on FARAI

I share with you a concern about the treatment FARAI has received. One of the 3 persons assigned to guard him today is a person who identified himself to me as MURINGANI. Farai complained to me that he is hostile and cruel and that this morning when he (MURINGANI) assumed duty he immediately put FARAI into leg irons and chains as he lay on the sick bed.

The leg irons and chains were only removed after demand by hospital personnel before taking FARAI into surgery. When I visited FARAI was not in chains but visitors complained to me that they had been harassed and hassled by MURINGANI who sat next to the bed to listen into every conversation FARAI had with his visitors. Our preliminary check on his background is worrying.

We will object in writing to him being at FARAI’s bedside because of his actions and because FARAI does not feel safe to sleep with him in the room. He was not even wearing uniform lending credence to fears that he is not a normal member of the Prisons staff but on special assignment. Whatever his status, a man who puts a sick man on a sick bed into leg irons when there are 3 of them guarding him can only be described as cruel and obsessive.

Such are the daily things that one has to constantly challenge to protect victims.

Regards

Tino Bere

DAY 17-Update-Farai Maguwu-Attempts to Remove From Hospital: Sat 19/06/2010

Colleagues

Tough Day

I am just arriving in Mutare my hometown to check on my family, replenish my clothing and take a much needed short break. But it’s the second time today because my earlier return this morning lasted a few minutes after I received word that Farai was being removed from his sick-bed and being taken to the Harare Central Police Station, the other information said to the Prison Clinic/Hospital for post operative care.

Shocking Cruelty

This more than concerned me, it infuriated me and I immediately returned to Harare. To me it did not make sense that Farai’s post operative care could ever be entrusted to:-

1.       people who refused to allow a doctor to see him when he was seriously ill,

2.       people who threw away his initial medication,

3.       people who sent away his doctor when the doctor came to attend a feverish and sick Farai,

4.       people who deprived Farai of access to his medication and maliciously discontinued all treatment,

5.       people who defied  a court order to allow medical examination and to allow resumption of treatment and

6.       people who instead of caring for Farai allowed him to be signed out for 48 hours during which he was taken to the country’s worst police cells.

For our part we found it to be shocking cruelty to discharge Farai to such people. Farai would never have needed surgery if the Prisons people cared. We consider that discharging Farai to their care is to condemn him to a fate unknown but one that may be worse than what he has endured so far.

The Facts

The facts which I established are that:-

1.       A doctor of Farai’s Choice attended Farai at Prisons on 16th June 2010, the day the court order was granted.

2.       The doctor referred Farai to a Specialist concerned at the serious condition observed.

3.       The Specialist determined the need for urgent surgery which was done on 16th June 2010 and removed Farai’s tonsils in his best interest we understand.

4.       the Specialist Surgeon who operated Farai 18th June examined Farai today (19th June 2010) and stated that Farai would need 10 days to fully recover.

5.       the Specialist also stated he was discharging Farai as he had done his part and only post operative care and healing remained.

6.       The Avenues Clinic in turn then indicated that they would not keep Farai since he had been discharged and it meant complying with Prisons request that he be referred to the Prisons Hospital.

7.       Farai protested this and the Avenues Clinic delayed the discharge where after I was informed.  

Response

I immediately sent a team member Mr. Charles Maunga to check. He established that Farai was still in the Clinic. I then returned to investigate fully and established that in fact Farai still stood discharged and had only remained in the Hospital because of his protest. However the Sister on Duty at the Ward explained that they were going to discharge Farai the following day, Sunday morning (20th June 2010).

On further inquiry I discovered that the Hospital seemed to be unaware of the existence of a High Court Order and of the sad background of the deliberate actions that caused the infection and worsened it by deprivation of medication and denial of access to medical examination. I then retired to prepare a detailed background letter and to make copies of the High Court order so that the hospital knows that Farai was examined and admitted by a doctor of his choice on the basis of a High Court order because the authorities had failed him.

Demand

We have therefore demanded in writing that the Hospital complete post operative care for Farai and that he MUST be sent to the care of people who had failed him. We have made it clear that it would be culpable to expect post operative care or any administration of medication at Prisons in the light of the history and in the light of his condition.  

We appreciate the care and professionalism given to Farai so far by the Hospital. We accept that the sad background may not have been fully known when an attempt was made to discharge Farai to the Prisons authorities.  We served an original of the High Court order that led to FARAI being in Hospital hands. We also asked that the High Court Order and FARAI’s choice of doctor and hospital/clinic be respected. In the event that the Hospital is unable or unwilling to keep FARAI then he will choose another suitable hospital to which they can transfer him.

Our stated position too was that If the Specialist has no courage to implement the Court Order then he should refer Farai to someone who can but the Specialist has no right in the light of the background to refer FARAI to the same people who failed him so badly!

We lastly asked to be informed if the High Court order will not be respected and if Farai is to be removed from Avenues against his will and in the light of his written instructions. 

Interim Solution

The Sister in Charge who was on duty agreed to call the doctor and inquire on the way forward. She was authorized to receive the doctor’s copy of our letter to the Hospital. The doctor also authorized that Farai remains in Hospital until the doctor comes to the hospital on Monday to review the background as detailed in our letter and the High Court order left by us. The Hospital also undertook not to discharge Farai against his will and to await a decision after the paperwork has been studied. I hope that all will be well through the weekend though  I know too well that tomorrow may bring more outrage in terms of the conduct of these people.

Farai’s Condition

Farai is alive and positive. He appreciates what the stakes are and is brave for a man in his situation. He is struggling to eat and to speak because of the operation. He is still on medication and needs painkillers to manage the pain. He is still confined to his bed and is guarded by three guards. Farai needs to be in Hospital till he is fully recovered and out of danger. To take him out of Hospital to the miserable ill-equipped facilities at Prisons where he will depend on the same people whose conduct I need not continue to repeat would be medical irresponsibility. We know as a last resort we may have to go back to the court but we trust for now sanity prevails.

That is all for now.

Regards

Tino Bere

for Farai’s Defence Team

DAY 18-Update-Farai Maguwu Is Still Safe in Hospital-Recovering: Sun 20/06/2010

Colleagues

Today

Today was peaceful, Farai spent day well from reports I collected and he is recovering well. He is still in Avenues Clinic and the big decision will be made tomorrow by both the Hospital authorities and by the Specialist Surgeon who attended him and who had earlier recommended discharge. Both the doctor and the hospital authorities will be informed by our demand with background and by the court order itself which we served. If they decide to remove him from Hospital then we shall seek the Court’s intervention again.

High Court Bail Decision

Tomorrow is a big day for Farai, we get the High Court ruling on bail at 2.30pm.

Remand Hearing

The other event this week is remand set for 23rd June 2010. At this date the Magistrate had stated that he would consider bail. It will be interesting what he says if Farai is still in jail. Also important is that Detective Dowa had said he will have finished investigations on 22nd June 2010.

Will be in touch tomorrow with some news. Thats all for now.

Regards

Tino Bere

for Farai Defence Team

DAY 19-Update-Farai Maguwu Bail Ruling: Mon 21/06/2010 21:52

Colleagues

BAIL Ruling

We have been to court and the ruling is that FARAI stays in jail. His Bail Appeal was thrown out by Justice Bhunu. The ruling was not unusual, it was some of the things the judge said which are worrying. Without hearing evidence hearing or Farai’s defence the judge felt compelled to rule that:-

1.       “It is common cause that the above report in fact contains prima facie false statements…”,

2.       “The magistrate’s ruling became firm and binding.”,

3        The judge used words like “treacherous and abominable” to describe what the state calls publishing false    information which Accused believes is legitimate criticism.

4.       “The evidence is damning…”

5.       “….available evidence points to a strong case against appellant.’

On the other hand everything in favour of Appellant including the admitted denial of medical attention and the admitted illegal detention and the uncontroverted contradiction between state documentary evidence received no attention. The judgment will be attractive for use by malicious politicians who no longer need to wait for the trial to make findings against Farai. The presumptions of innocence is supposed to operate in favour of those accused like Farai and the ruling seemed concerned least about that presumption.

But as the law stands, Farai has no right of appeal from the judge’s ruling no matter how bad he may believe it to be. I have often criticized the practice of making posthumous submissions. Let me not fall into the same trap. We are disappointed but understand the escalation that is taking place against Farai. We understand the timing of everything that is happening and have tried to explain the same to Farai.

The current options available to Farai is review of the circumstances around bail by the Magistrates on the date of remand as promised by him when he rejected bail. This is fortified by the judge’s own conclusion and the statement by the police that they will be done with investigations by 22nd June 2010. We are not oblivious to the risk that the police can simply claim that they are not finished and with that finish any change of liberty for Farai.

FARAI’s worsening fortunes

As if the bail denial and the generous findings in favour of the state were not painful enough, Farai was today against his will and in spite of our written and oral protest removed from the Hospital where he was recovering and taken to Prison. The authorities have insisted and prevailed upon the attending Specialist Surgeon to discharge Farai from Hospital and let the Prisons Doctor takeover the post-operative care. The Hospital nursing staff explained that even though this was against their better judgment, the matter was beyond them.

We explained the two sets of bad news to a disappointed Farai who was in evident pain and he said nothing. He looked defeated and depressed. The family called me latter to report that they found him already discharged and sitting at the Hospital entrance and in extreme distress and writhing with abdominal pain and pleading for help but none came from his captors who simply took him away.

Farai shared that his condition was not good today because not only was the pain more extreme, the throat and neck were visibly swollen and his face looked pale.

It is a tragedy that a person who suffered illness as a result of malicious deprivation of warm bedding, and whose illness aggravated because of malicious and deliberate denial of medical attention requests, and whose medication was thrown away first and then shelved next and who was despite the existence of a court order continued to be denied medication and medical examination till the High Court intervened to order medical examination by a doctor of his choice should be forced into the post-operative care of the same authorities who failed him. It is a tragedy. However while Prison regulations remain what they are and while Farai is on remand, the legal options are limited to what we have exhausted.

A team of doctors of Farai’s choice will make visits to ensure he is receiving proper post -operative care and that he is as promised by Dr. Makanza being cared for from the Prison Clinic/Hospital and not in the normal remand cells. We all pray for Farai health and life. We hope that he continues to be strong in the face of this escalation. We also pray that those determined to punish FARAI will be satisfied sooner rather than later so he regains his freedom once again. Farai handed himself healthy and fit on 3rd June 2010 but as bail was denied today he is at his weakest. The 3rd June images of Farai attached say it all.

Regards

Tino Bere

for Farai’s Defence Team

DAY 20-Update-Farai Maguwu REMAND & BAIL REVIEW 23RD JUNE 2010: Tue 22/06/2010

COLLEAGUES

There is not much to share today.

Remand & Bail Review 23rd June 2010

Farai is supposed to appear in court for remand tomorrow, Wednesday the 23rd June 2010. His condition may mean that he will be unable to attend court. Based on the police declaration that they would complete investigations, and the Magistrate’s ruling that bail would be considered on 23rd June 2010 and the emphasis by the High Court that bail will be considered at the next remand, we will expect that the Magistrate will re-look at the question of bail and we shall argue that the Police have had adequate time and Farai ought now to be freed.

It is in the hands of the court and judging by the trend so far, it may well be Farai will only be released when they think he has had enough punishment or when he cannot harm their strategic interests.

Farai’s Condition

Farai is in the Prison Clinic and when visited by family today he was in pain especially on the throat and in the abdomen. They don’t know why. He has also complained about the food which he cannot take. At the time of writing we have no feedback from any of the doctors we thought would be allowed access because they had failed to reach the Prison Doctor to get permission. We will speak with Farai tomorrow and see for ourselves his state before deciding on the best course of action.

That is all for now.

Yesterday I was furious but overnight I remembered that these people have always been thus… also remembered the many heroes who were mocked, persecuted, arrested, detained, falsely prosecuted, tortured and killed even, and the butchers and despots then were so sure that would be the end of their victims…. but the evil persecution became the beginning of something that lived beyond the miserable lives of the butchers themselves.

We have heart to take this as far as they butchers desire and beyond.

Do keep Farai in your prayers.

Regards

Tino Bere

DAY 21-FRARAI MAGUWU-THIRD BAIL REQUEST REJECTED: Wed 23/06/2010

COLLEAGUES

Farai Still In Jail

Application for bail was rejected again. The case of Farai was heard again in the magistrates Court today. The Police had said in writing they will be finished with investigations by 22nd June 2010 and bail was denied on that basis. We asked the court to place Farai on bail and the Sate opposed claiming that they are still not finished with investigations.

Thursday 24 June 2010

Thank you so much Sophia and Ditshwanelo for the stand you have taken on Farai Maguwu per your attached statement.

I saw him a short while ago and just knowing that even though the regime gets pleasure from his suffering, the international support for him is steady and the international condemnation of his captors is growing as is awareness of his cause has been helpful in motivating him.

His health is still in need of monitoring and attention. The malice persists because only last night an attempt was made to shackle him and put him in leg irons right on the sick bed. This would have meant he would be unable to go to the toilet all night. The cruelty of some of these officers is abnormal. He protested and after consultation with the Officer in Charge the plan by the malicious officer (whose name we are seeking) was aborted.

We obtained an order for Farai to receive care of his choice and by a doctor of his choice and efforts are underway to implement.

For your reading we attach the disappointing ruling by Justice Bhunu that Farai who went on his own to the police should remain in jail because he may run or interfere with witnesses who have been named as senior army and police personnel!

Thank you once again.

Regards

Tino Bere

Bhunu judgment attached here:judgemt

Thu 24/06/2010 15:44

Colleagues 

Farai’s Medical Condition 

Today, in the company of Trust Maanda my co-counsel, we visited Farai Maguwu in the Harare Central Prison Hospital. We report that FARAI is in pain but he is positive and strong. He is stronger in spirit that the day I shared with him Bhunu’s ruling and he was immediately bundled out of Avenues Clinic. On that particular day he was depressed and nearly broken. 

Some of his family members broke down to see him writhing in agony as he was taken away against his will. Today we spoke to him and shares with him events of yesterday at court and the many stories of the phenomenal support the world has offered him. He feels that he is not worth this much support and wishes he could personally thank you all for the support. 

Medical Care Court Order 

Yesterday in the midst of the disappointment over the bail rejection and the Prosecutor’s tantrums, what was lost was the positive outcome of our application for restoration of medical care of Farai’s choice. We gave the court a summary of our concerns about the treatment and current medical condition of Farai and applied that Accused’s post operative care under a doctor of his choice be restored and the state had no response. The Court therefore granted the order and stated that Accused is to be treated by the doctor of his choice. We are processing issuance of the order for use by the doctors. 

The Hospital bed and the bed linen that I saw Farai is shocked me. The people caring for the ill do try but the means are desperate and the risk of prolonged or aggravated illness is evident. The Prisons doctor who claimed he would take over post operative care for Farai has never been to see him and seems either overwhelmed or prevented by some circumstances to offer Farai the critical care he needs to avoid post-operative complications. We trust the Court Order will redress this concern so that Farai can return to full fitness and face his accusers fair and square. 

Next Court Day

Nest Court day is 30th June 2010. This hopefully keeps FARAI on the radar and places the necessary urgency on his matter. We will be insisting that the police expedite investigations and testify honestly to the court what became of their 22nd June deadline and when else they will finish. This is critical as we see a pattern of claiming investigations are pending and refusing arrogantly to tell the court when the investigations will end in order to prevent the court granting bail. It is malicious and the Prosecutors’ attitude to the court was worrying, very worrying.

This is NOT about Farai anymore 

Civil society has responded very positively. Some may however not be seeing the tragic precedent and or discovery that the authorities have discovered. They need not be able to secure conviction but hiding behind this terrible criminal code they can now obtain search warrants from themselves and invade offices of NGO’s and homes of directors and management of NGO’s and collect any documents they find and the lay charges. Every report that is critical of this government is a potential candidate for criminal charges. 

While they know they cannot secure conviction, what they do to the individuals and what they gain by access to confidential material of targeted NGO’s is of immense value to their destructive mission. Obviously people cannot be forced to support FARAI is they think little of him as a person or of his work, but one hopes that all realize that this is NOT about FARAI anymore, it is about methods of destroying civics or accessing civics confidential information. 

This explains the harmony of the judicial decisions and prosecutorial obsessiveness and well as POLICE malice, that have all worked to keep FARAI in jail despite their discord with FARAI’s personal circumstances and the dictates of what is just and fair. A man who dared expose and criticize wrongs of a government and who handed himself over in person but who is now punished and condemned to “rot in jail” by a system that should protect him.

Worse, he entered jail fit and healthy and by their very acts they made him sick and they worsened the sickness and that obsession seems endless. I trust CIVIL society does take note and takes appropriate steps to protect themselves. 

Availability 

I am leaving town now till Sunday for a retreat of the country’s legal profession. As Vice President I could not miss this and so TRUST MAANDA is in charge if there is any emergency. You may email me or send txt messages and I will respond during breaks. If there is an emergency I will return to Harare. 

Thanks you all for your support for Farai and please always keep him in your prayers. We who are privileged to serve him do know that despite the pain of his incarceration, he is the victor in the end. 

Regards

Tino Bere 

RESEND OF FULL VERSION OF DAY 20-FRARAI MAGUWU-THIRD BAIL REQUEST REJECTED-23 JUNE 2010 

Apologies 

Yesterday my mail was being blocked and I see most of my update never left my machine. Fatigue must be getting the better of me also. I sent you update for day 21 yesterday instead of day 20 and today I sent day 22. Let me resend here the correct version of the update for 23 June 2010. 

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Regards

Tino Bere 

COLLEAGUES

Farai Still In Jail 

Application for bail was rejected again. The case of Farai was heard again in the magistrates Court today. The Police had said in writing they will be finished with investigations by 22nd June 2010 and bail was denied on that basis. We asked the court to place Farai on bail and the Sate opposed claiming that they are still not finished with investigations. 

The state counsel claimed that Detective Dowa was out of the country on investigations and doubting the truthfulness of this we called him on his Zimbabwe cell three times and he was not out of the country. To top it up 2 other witnesses were prepared to testify that they had seen him at Harare Central Police Station in the morning. Sadly though the Magistrate believed the bold claims and allowed the state more time and dismissed the bail request. We then asked that Farai be brought to remand earlier, the 30th June instead of 7th July which the Prosecutor wanted. 

The court agreed with us and the Prosecutor as has become customary lost her temper… scribbled on a paper that “These Guys are Mad” and passed it on to one of the court officials and then stood up to declare that she would not indicate to the court when the state would be finished with the investigations then or at the next remand. To us it was clear that this sudden reluctance to fix a timeline for investigations was a fear that the sole remaining reason for keeping Farai in jail will be overtaken by time. 

Court Order for Post Operation Care

The only good news is that we obtained a court order for Farai’s post-operation care by a doctor of his choice. We shared with the court the sad trail of defiance of its orders and the tragedy that Farai who handed himself over as a health and strong young man had been deliberately rendered ill and denied medication and medical examination from 4th June 2010 till 16th June 2010 when the High Court ordered that he be seen by a doctor of his choice. 

We also informed the court that post surgery care had been short-lived and Farai was returned to the care of the same authorities that let him down. The Prosecutor had no answer and so the order was granted. We will seek enforcement tomorrow so that Farai is cared for and treated by a doctor of his choice. The emotions in this case have not changed and escalation is evident with the desire to keep Farai in jail forever so self-evident from the Prosecutor’s attitude. 

Thanks you everyone for your continued support. 

Regards

Tino Bere 

Fri 25/06/2010 16:36 

Colleagues

Find please attached for your information a statement by SADC Lawyers Association on Farai Maguwu. 

Regards

Tino Bere 

THE SADC Lawyers’ Association

Unit 3, Kwena House, Kgale Mews, Private Bag 0056, Gaborone, Botswana

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.sadclawyers.org

Telephone: +267-3910333

Fax: +267-3910332 

The Southern African Development Community Lawyers Association (SADC LA) wishes to express its indignation over the denial of bail of Farai Maguwu and his continued detention despite his apparent poor health. Farai is the Director of the Centre for Research and Development, a human rights Non Governmental Organization in Mutare, Zimbabwe. The organization has been at the forefront of documenting human rights abuses and violations in Zimbabwe’s controversial Marange/Chiadzwa Diamond Fields.   

We are particularly concerned with the ruling of Justice Chinembiri Bhunu on 21 June 2010 following a bail application by Farai’s lawyers. The judge in his ruling made statements which put into doubt the court’s impartiality and raises questions about whether or not Farai was afforded a free and fair hearing. Of concern is the Judge’s pronouncement that Farai’s “behaviour is treacherous and abominable”. Even though the Judge qualified this statement, we have always urged Judges and other judicial officers to be modest and temperate in the use of language so as to instill confidence on the fairness and impartiality of courts in those appearing before the courts in particular and members of the public in general.  

The Judge also concluded that “it [was] common cause that the report {in the court’s possession} in fact contained prima facie false statements” made by Farai and that the evidence was “damning” without the benefit of a trial to warrant such conclusions. On the other hand the judge was reluctant to accept the defence’s submissions that Farai was ill-treated, denied access to medical attention and unlawfully removed from remand prison by state agents because “it would be wrong and injudicious for the courts to hastily move in and condemn one party or the other without a proper enquiry into the allegations and before everyone concerned has had a say”. This is a clear case of application of double standards more so considering that these inconsistencies are in the same ruling. 

With the Kimberly Process Certification Meeting underway in Tel Aviv, Israel, the continued detention of Farai raises questions about the real motive behind his arrest and gives credence to arguments that he is being detained to stop him from attending the meeting and providing information that he has on human rights abuses and violations in Marange/Chiadzwa.  In the bail hearing the judge referred to a statement that was allegedly written by the accused. 

This statement contains serious allegations of gross human rights abuses which are attributed to the security forces of Zimbabwe. We note with serious dismay that the judge in this matter did not even suggest that these allegations should be investigated by the Zimbabwean Government. We further note with dismay that the Zimbabwean Government has not instituted any investigation into the alleged human rights violations, but has instead, detained an accused for allegedly making these allegations. This is a perversion of the system of justice which the SADC Lawyers Association condemns. 

The SADC Lawyers Association further condemns attempts by the Zimbabwean authorities to frustrate lawyers representing the accused by denying them their right for unimpeded access to their client. We therefore call for the immediate release of Farai and urge our courts to dispense justice fairly and impartially regardless of the nature of the case before them. 

We further call for the Zimbabwean Government to take all necessary measures to ensure that all the allegations that are said to have been made by the accused are properly and fully investigated, and that all the responsible individuals are brought to justice. It is the duty of the Zimbabwean authorities to ensure the security of their citizens and to investigate any alleged breaches of the law by anyone within Zimbabwe’s territory. 

Issued for and on behalf of the Southern African Development Community Lawyers Association

By Mabvuto Hara

President   

25 June 2010-FRARAI MAGUWU-UPDATE-STILL UNWELL 

Colleagues 

This update comes from the “bush” where I have joined the leaders of the legal profession to do strategic planning. I have spoken with the doctors and with Trust Maanda and one of the family members to secure current information. 

Three Weeks Imprisonment & Counting 

Today Farai will spend his 23rd night in captivity for an alleged crime that punishes human rights research and advocacy in a civilized society, for an alleged crime that depends on the mere say so of the police, for an alleged crime that punished freedom of speech and freedom of expression. All this in a situation where he freely presented himself. I need not remind all that Farai he spends these nights a sick and tormented man following measures cruelly taken to cause risk his health and then to deprive him of medication and medical attention. 

Farai’s Condition Today 

I am in touch with the doctors of Farai’s choice who are now attending him and they advise that Farai is still unwell and that he is in significant pain. His wounds are not healing as fast and the diet or something has upset his entire system and so he is experiencing severe abdominal pain. The doctors are arranging better care and investigations to ensure he heals faster and to ease the suffering.  There were delays in having the court order we obtained issued but by the end of the day it had been issued and this should lend speed to care for Farai. 

The Future 

We can only keep the pressure up but the solution may lie elsewhere. While Farai’s captors are still angry this is likely to continue. We are thankful for all the efforts and all the support given to Farai. We reiterate that this is no longer about Farai and CRD, it is now about a principle of silencing criticism and the precedent that this establishes should it be met by our collective silence. Those that have not maintained silence do so not just for Farai but for the greater cause of freedom to peacefully fight for causes that they believe in. 

We shall keep you informed as we soldier on. 

Kind regards

Tino Bere 

28 June 2010-FARAI MAGUWU-Still Unwell & Still in Jail Hospital 

Colleagues 

Our apologies for the silence on 26th and 17th June 2010.

The writer was in a place where internet was not easy to access and communication was nearly impossible so since there was no significant development we went silent. It was a chance for the other team members to take a useful break. 

Farai Still in Hospital 

Farai was visited today by defence team member Trust Maanda. Trust established that Farai is still in the same Prison Hospital that we last saw him admitted on Thursday. He receives daily visits from family in Harare. He is still unwell. He is stable but still experiences acute abdominal pain and the wounds from the operation are with him though healing . The Prison Hospital is ill-equipped and access is a challenge because of security restrictions. 

The diet offered by Prisons is also a challenge. The best ends of justice and the best interests of Farai’s health would be served by his release so that he can be cared for and treated at facilities that are suitable for speedy recovery. It is 24 days since Farai fell ill as a result of malicious actions by his captors. Even though Farai is stable, the time it is taking for him to heal fully is frustrating and worrying. 

Following a Court Order we are pleased that Farai’s doctors continue to have access to him now and are attending his treatment. Sadly they have not been able to move Farai to a better and properly equipped hospital. It does not cost the captors anything to have Farai admitted and treated at a properly equipped and resources hospital under their guard. But the perception of a cruel desire to exact pain and delay healing is inescapable. 

Remand Hearing on Wednesday 30 June 2010 

Farai appears in court again on Wednesday for routine remand. He is entitled to know progress of investigations and if they are completed to consideration of bail and a trial date. The date of completion of investigations used to be specific date of 22nd June 2010 but has now suddenly become murky and uncertain (with the Prosecutor declaring last hearing that she would even at the next hearing disclose this vital information to the court). We are hopeful that the remand court will ensure that there is clarity on this last excuse for keeping Farai in jail. We will be seeking that clarity. 

The Future 

It is difficult to predict the future of this case but since the KP process did not lift the ban and the authorities have nothing to celebrate after Tel Aviv (save for propaganda), it’s conceivable that this battle to liberate Farai could actually get harsher. However the police cannot investigate forever and soon the push will be for trial if they won’t admit Farai to bail. 

There will be no update tomorrow unless something significant occurs but this update will be back after proceedings on Wednesday 30th June 2010. 

Help for Farai & His Family 

Some of you have asked how they can assist Farai or his family. They do need help. I will send separate to this update contact details. I ask that these not be the subject of media publication but discreet sharing with people or organizations who mean seriously to help. As always thank you for your support and do keep Farai close to your hearts especially in prayer. 

Regards

Tino Bere

for Farai’s Defence Team 

30 June 2010-FARAI MAGUWU-Farai Testifies As Defence Challenges Remand In Custody 

Colleagues 

Hope this update finds you well. We continue to assume that everyone on this list is happy to stay on it and to receive this update. Please do not hesitate to shout when you want out. We will promptly remove you from the list. 

It is nearly a Month 

It is day 27 of Farai’s incarceration. It is nearly one month. As today ends I realize how long and demanding it has been. And I note too that this terrible month is ending today and it has been a really demanding one. But the trials and burdens of those of us who are free are nothing compared Farai’s. A once free young man who nearly 30 days ago gave himself up to face the law. Instead of justice, he has been subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. An unjust law has been used to persecute him. 

Privileges granted to the State in the interest of law and order have been used to exact punishment of imprisonment before conviction upon Farai. The declaration during a tantrum by Phyillis Zvenyika for the state still haunt these proceedings…”rot in jail”!! 

It has been long and it could run much longer. However while Farai is unfree, we remain motivated for his cause. We hope his colleagues and family and friends remain committed to the cause of his freedom. So for us as long as there is a legal avenue that may be pursued, we will pursue it, every day, even at the chagrin of the authorities. We will keep knocking at the door of justice till someone answers. 

Farai in Court , Defence Challenged Remand & Farai Testified 

Farai was in court for remand today. The defence back to full capacity, Beatrice, Trust and Tino (the writer) insisted on Farai being brought to court. The Prosecutor applied to have Farai remanded for a further 2 weeks in custody on the basis of a bold claim that “investigations are still underway”. The defence challenged the application and insisted that Farai be remanded out of custody because the police have or should have finished investigations by 22nd June 2010. 

The defence led by Beatrice Mtetwa called Farai to testify. In a show of pettiness and malice, the State Prosecutor (Phyllis Zvenyika) refused to swear in Farai Maguwu and insisted that the defence or the court swear him in. She did not give any reason and the court did not insist on an explanation. In order to make progress, Farai was ultimately sworn-in by the defence. 

Farai testified about the ill-treatment and the interrogation and threats at the hands of the police. Farai protested the arrest when he had handed himself freely. Farai also protested the inhuman and degrading treatment. He also protested the arrest in order to investigate and challenged the police on claims that investigations are ongoing. The case was almost closed after defence submissions and state counsel submissions but suddenly the Prosecutor asked for and was given a chance to call the Investigating Officer one DOWA. So the matter re-opens tomorrow 1st July 2010 at 8.30am. 

At the end of the many arguments will be a decision by the court as to whether Farai will be remanded out of custody on bail or the State will be given more time. Initially the State was given the time it asked, and last week it was given more time, and today it sought 2 more weeks but would not say when they will be done with investigations. 

Drama of lost temper 

There was drama in the court when the Prosecutor Phyllis Zvenyika lost her temper again and became emotional refusing to observe the professional courtesy of sitting down when the other side has an objection and shutting up till they have made their objection and only responding when called upon to respond. 

She insisted on making submissions to Farai instead of cross-examining him and when objection after objection were sustained, she resorted to her common tool, temper. The situation degenerated to a point where she rudely interrupted Beatrice (a lawyer many many years her senior) and would not let her finish her objection. The defence then protested at the disrespect to them and to the court and sought protection of the court. 

She then went into her familiar emotional argumentativeness even with the court which was ordering her to shut up and sit down. It only ended when another Prosecutor intervened and told her to sit down and declared that he was taking over the case. Indeed the non-emotional Prosecutor, (one Kusemwa) took-over. That silenced Phyllis Zvenyika and there was sanity for the rest of the proceedings. The court admonished everyone to act professionally like officers of the court. 

The concern for Farai’s sake is that the State officers ought to be impartial or at least to act impartial. The persistent show of emotions as read with previous declarations that Farai would “rot in jail” make a mockery of the justice delivery system. We are documenting the conduct and utterances of this officer and whatever weakness or challenges they reveal will be raised in the appropriate fora when this case is done. 

Farai’s Health 

Farai is still detained in the Prison hospital. He seems better than when I personally last saw him last week on Thursday 24th June 2010. However, while he says the throat has improved, he has complications in that he developed abdominal/stomach pains that have seen him develop a diahorrea. The Prison Hospital is not an ideal place for an ill person to heal. When you visit the hospital you do understand why it is such a challenge to heal. Ordinarily Farai would have healed by now but for his situation and station. 

Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment 

The Zimbabwean Constitution protects citizens from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Farai’s illness was a result of malicious deprivation of warm bedding. [night of 4/5 June 2010]. His illness was aggravated by:- 

•        denial of medical examination and treatment initially for 2 days and sending away of his doctor who had come to the station, [5 June 2010] 

•        throwing away of initially purchased medicines by duty police at Mutare Police cells, [night of 5-6th June 2010] 

•        examination by a mere nurse when a doctor was on call at Mutare Hospital, [6th June 2010] 

•        interruption and abandonment of prescribed medicine,[8 June to 16 June 2010] 

•        denial of resumption of treatment and medical examination in defiance of a court order issued 10 June 2010. 

•        unlawful and malicious removal from Remand to cold and condemned Matapi Police Cells and later to the terrible Harare Central Police Cells [11-14 June 2010]. 

As if the above was not bad enough, while in Avenues Clinic, Farai was put in leg irons which were only removed after hospital protest. A day after surgery, the Prison authorities attempted to remove Farai from Avenues Clinic and our protest only delayed this by two nights and an ill and protesting and suffering Farai was forcibly taken back to Prisons and admitted to Prisons hospital and to the care of people who had watched as he was punished through neglected illness. 

The Prisons doctor who had assured Farai’s doctors that he would personally takeover Farai’s post operative care never visited or attended Farai and medicines were not administered on time or at all till another court order of 23rd June 2010 restored care by a medical doctor of Farai’s choice. 

Despite this order, Farai has lately been subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in that as a sick prisoner he has been put in leg irons and chains. These restrain and makes it next to impossible for Farai to sleep properly, he is exposed to the cold and cannot freely visit the ablutions facility and yet he has diahorrea. 

A sick prisoner should not be so chained or be subjected to cold conditions or be restrained on access to a toilet on account of unnecessary and malicious security measures. Farai complained bitterly about this to the court today (30th June 2010). He told the court that when he sought an explanation for this treatment from prison guards all they have said is that it is not their fault, the orders are from above and they have been told to obey because this case is allegedly “political”. 

Prospects 

Many of you ask about prospects. What we always say is that it is in the hands of the court as is Farai’s fate. Our part is to argue as we have done and to share with you the issues before the court but as for the verdict, we must all wait for the court. As always thank you for your support and do keep Farai in your prayers. 

Regards

Tino Bere

for Farai’s Defence Team 

UPDATE-1 July 2010-FARAI MAGUWU-Dowa Testifies & Farai Still In Jail 

Colleagues 

This comes a little later and I apologise. Fatigue got the better of me and I practically passed out sitting at the laptop. 4 hours later I am able to finish and send this. This is day 28 of Farai’s incarceration.

Court 

The day was spent in court. Detective Inspector Dowa was called to testify and explain why Farai must remain in jail. Beatrice Mtetwa for the defence cross-examined him and in the process it emerged among other issues that Farai’s insistence on his right to silence and legal representation has offended the police. It also emerged that the Prosecutor’s claim that Dowa was in South Africa on 23rd June 2010 has been contradicted by Dowa himself. 

Even more interesting is the claim by Dowa that he has no valid passport considering his seniority. What horrified us is his testimony that he has freedom and SAPS support to enter South Africa freely and at the production of his ZRP identity document. Dowa told the court that he entered South Africa on 18th June and exited on 21st June 2010 and that one Captain Makuwa of SAPS had assisted him. 

He had not a single official identity document and had no record that he had ever been to South Africa. We felt that this would be chilling to Zimbabweans who have sought asylum. We also are surprised that South Africa would have such a practice. Overally it was clear that the Police are determined to keep Farai in jail for as long as they possibly can. It is now in the hands of the court that will rule today the 2nd June 2010 

Farais’s Health 

Farai is improving and his wounds are healing. His abdominal problems are taking longer to control. He is still receiving medication and care under his doctor. He is still in the Prison hospital but has been able to attend proceedings over the last 2 days. We pray that he will be fully fit soon. 

MY SISTER IN LAW 

In the middle of today’s programme I had to deal with my own family’s encounter with repression. Today POLICE at DANGAMVURA POLICE STATION disrupted and ended a meeting organized by ZIMCODD Mutare office following a complaint by a ZANU PF supporter who was offended by mention of GONO in respect of the harmful effect of uncontrolled borrowing by the State. The POLICE then arrested and detailed two of the resource persons as well as the ZIMCODD Provincial Co-ordinator (SHARLENE NYAMUTSWA) and her intern, SIMBISAI MAVUNGANIDZE (my wife’s young sister). 

They were interrogated and kept at the police station over allegations of violation of POSA. They denied the charges and ZLHR deployed Blessing Nyamaropa, the Eastern Region Manager to assist. The three were eventually released in the evening. Sharlene Nyamutswa is still facing the charges and has been asked to return in the morning. ZIMCODD denies the alleged failure and hopes that after considering the case the POLICE will see that there is no offence and that it was the malice of a ZANU PF supporter who believes ZANU PF is immune from criticism and that GONO is a little god that cannot be criticized. 

My sister in law is home now, still shocked but relieved. Sharlene is also home and anxious about what tomorrow holds. The intolerance that see Farai suffering is deeply rooted. Will send you the verdict immediately we have it. We are guarded in our optimism because we know what the stakes are and how high they are. 

Keep Farai in your prayers always. 

Cheers

Tino Bere 

UPDATE-2 July 2010-FARAI MAGUWU-Bail Denied OVER CHIKANE & INTERPOL etc 

Colleagues 

BAIL DENIED 

I have been trying to connect and send this all morning. I wish I would send an update with good news but sadly I have none and this battle to free Farai may turn out to be one of the longest, toughest and worst. Farai was denied bail this morning by Magistrate Donald Ndirowei. 

Pending CHIKANE & INTERPOL Investigations 

His reason in short where that because Dowa claimed he had tried to meet Abbey Chikane between 18th and 21st June in South Africa and failed, the state was entitled to more time. The other reason was the police claim that they have engaged INTERPOL to investigate the whereabouts and identify of persons who allegedly corresponded with Farai, these  so called “extraterritorial investigations” needed time. 

The sooner INTERPOL responds (assuming they were ever engaged,) and the sooner that CHIKANE is interviewed (assuming they are even looking for him) and he gives the police his statement incriminating Farai the better it seems for Farai because there will then be no more pending investigations to hide behind. 

Farai is shocked that in this battle the judiciary seems pitted against him We have assured him that it may take time but in time justice will prevail eventually, if not today maybe tomorrow, if not tomorrow then the day that follows, if not that too then on they that will follow and so on and so on till evil runs out of excuses! 

He has instructed us to appeal and Beatrice Mtetwa is already working on the appeal. The general basis is that the ruling is so removed from the evidence led in court and the unchallenged testimony by Farai, the contradictory and self-destructive testimony by Dowa and the fact that no proof of any pending relevant investigation was tendered. 

South Africa & Chikane & Dowa & KP 

To defeat demand for proof of travel the court was told that South Africa police services assisted Dowa enter and leave South Africa with no record or documentation. Time will tell is this excuse to keep Farai in jail was true. A claim has been made that it has proved hard to get Chikane to give a statement and to surrender the documents given to him by Farai and time too will tell how long CHIKANE is willing to be used as an excuse for Farai’s deprivation of freedom and how long the KP community is willing to be the reason for this crack down on human and people rights advocates. 

JUDGEMENTS 

I will transcribe the judgments next week for the edification of those who wish to analyze these rulings. For us on the ground, each disappointing decision is very revealing about this country. The decisions are more revealing that all that we could say in commentary. 

STAKES SO HIGH 

We have reached a stage where the STATE gets all it asks of the court and the Accused suffers in jail. We have also reached a stage where it matters not what the arguments or evidence reveal, the stakes are so high, nothing matters. It is disappointing but not discouraging. As long as nothing kills him, one day they will have to watch him walk free. 

SILENCE OR COMPLICITY BY NEW PLAYERS IN GOVERNMENT

It is just sad that by joining a government, some people who used to care about human rights and were victims themselves have now forgotten that people are more important than balancing a budget with “blood diamonds”! 

MY SISTER IN LAW 

My sister in law and the resource person arrested yesterday are free. The ZIMCODD convener of the offending community meeting is now facing Public Order and Security Act charges. Such are the times. Do keep Farai in your thoughts and in your prayers. 

The next update will be on Monday unless something happens suddenly. Farai is improving but still in hospital at the Prison. His family will be visiting every permitted hour and taking care of his food needs. His doctors are still able to gain access but nobody can prevent the cruel treatment allegedly ordered specifically for Farai. 

Regards

Tino Bere 

Corrected-UPDATE-2 July 2010-FARAI MAGUWU-Bail Denied OVER CHIKANE & INTERPOL etc

Corrected! 

the initial update had typos as I was in a mad rush.

Colleagues 

BAIL DENIED 

I have been trying to connect and send this all morning. I wish I would send an update with good news but sadly I have none and this battle to free Farai may turn out to be one of the longest, toughest and worst. Farai was denied bail this morning by Magistrate Donald Ndirowei. 

Pending CHIKANE & INTERPOL Investigations 

The Magistrate’s reasons in short where that because Dowa claimed he had tried to meet Abbey Chikane between 18th and 21st June in South Africa and failed, the state was entitled to more time. The other reason was the police claim that they have engaged INTERPOL to investigate the whereabouts and identify of persons who allegedly corresponded with Farai, these  so called “extraterritorial investigations” needed time. 

The sooner INTERPOL responds (assuming they were ever engaged,) and the sooner that CHIKANE is interviewed (assuming they are even looking for him) and he gives the police his statement incriminating Farai the better it seems for Farai. This is because there will then be no more pending investigations to hide behind. 

Farai is shocked that in this battle the judiciary seems pitted against him. We have assured Farai that it may take time but in time justice will prevail… eventually. If not today, maybe tomorrow, if not tomorrow, then the day that follows, if not that too, then on they that will follow and so on and so on till evil runs out of excuses! 

Farai has instructed us to appeal and Beatrice Mtetwa is already working on the appeal. The general basis for the appeal is that the ruling by the Court is so removed from the evidence led in Court, the unchallenged testimony by Farai, the contradictory and self-destructive testimony by Dowa and the fact that no proof of any pending relevant investigations was tendered. 

South Africa & Chikane & Dowa & KP 

To defeat demand for proof of travel the Court was told that South Africa Police Services assisted Dowa enter and leave South Africa with no record or documentation. Time will tell if this excuse to keep Farai in jail was true. A claim has been made that it has proved hard for the Zimbabwean police to get Chikane to give a statement and to surrender the documents given to him by Farai. Again time too will tell how long CHIKANE is willing to be used as an excuse for Farai’s deprivation of freedom and how long the KP community is willing to be the reason for this crack down on human and people rights advocates. 

JUDGEMENTS 

I will transcribe the judgments next week for the edification of those who wish to analyze these rulings. For us on the ground, each disappointing decision is very revealing about this country. The decisions are more revealing that all that we could say in commentary. 

STAKES SO HIGH

We have reached a stage where the STATE gets all it asks of the court and the Accused suffers in jail. We have also reached a stage where it matters not what the arguments or evidence reveal, the stakes are so high, nothing matters. It is disappointing but not discouraging. As long as nothing kills Farai, one day they will have to watch him walk free. 

SILENCE OR COMPLICITY BY NEW PLAYERS IN GOVERNMENT 

It is just sad that by joining a government, some people who used to care about human rights and were victims themselves have now forgotten that people are more important than balancing a budget with “blood diamonds”! 

MY SISTER IN LAW 

My sister in law and the resource person arrested yesterday are free. The ZIMCODD convener of the “offending” community meeting is now facing Public Order and Security Act charges. Such are the times. Do keep Farai in your thoughts and in your prayers. 

The next update will be on Monday unless something happens suddenly. Farai is improving (health-wise) but still in hospital at the Prison. His family will be visiting every permitted hour and taking care of his food needs. His doctors are still able to gain access but nobody can prevent the cruel treatment allegedly ordered specifically for Farai. 

Regards

Tino Bere & Defence Team 

UPDATE-for 5 July 2010-FARAI MAGUWU-BAIL APPEAL FILED & HEARING 7th JUNE 2010 

Colleagues 

The Weekend 

The weekend was peaceful save for the dig at me on 3rd June 2010 in the Herald Newspaper by one Nathaniel Manheru (a regular partisan columnist). After the usual sarcastic attacks against Farai Maguwu and critics of the Zimbabwe’s human rights record in the Chiadzwa Diamond area, he asked:- 

          “What licenses his lawyer-appropriately surnamed Bere to publish on internet a fake diary on the trial? Is it about defense, justice, truth or it’s about propaganda and publicity?” 

Since that columnist is not on my mailing list and I am very busy and I do not value his compliments/sarcasm he will have to wait for an answer to his question from elsewhere. Many of my friends interpreted the outbursts as a threat because of the author. I was relieved that he did not praise me because that would have hurt a lot. I trust you all find value in these updates and immediately anyone tires please alert us and we will remove you from the mailing list. 

Farai’s Condition 

Farai remains in medical care but reports from his family are that they see improvement. The family was able to visit Farai through the weekend. We remain hopeful that Farai will be fully recovered some day to face his accusers. 

Bail Appeal 

Trust Maanda for the defense team filed FARAI’s bail appeal today and we now have a date of hearing. The appeal will be heard in the High Court on Wednesday the 7th July 2010 at 9am. We remain hopeful that someday Farai’s plea for liberty will be answered someday. 

We will have an update on the date of hearing. 

Regards

Tino Bere 

UPDATE-for 7 July 2010-FARAI MAGUWU-High Court Bail Hearing Postponed to 9th July 2010 

Colleagues 

I wish I had good news but I don’t. 

Today we appeared on time at the High Court to argue Farai Maguwu’s bail appeal and as has become the practice the Attorney General’s representative casually applied to have the matter postponed to Friday because he claimed that he had been allocated the case very late. 

Beatrice arguing for the defence argued strongly against the postponement insisting that since bail appeal rules require urgent set down and hearing of bail matters to allow a postponement would continue the undermining of these rules. 

The Judge, Justice Garainesu Mawadze, agreed that the State ought to treat these matters as urgent and that he was also of the view that Friday was too far but he then stated that he was himself tied up tomorrow the 8th July 2010 and that left Friday as the only free day for him and by that coincidence the case was then postponed to Friday 9th July 2010, the date requested originally by the Attorney General’s representative.

We therefore have no choice but to wait and Farai remains in jail. His health is improving but he is still receiving medical treatment and medical care. 

Regards

Tino Bere 

UPDATE-for 9 July 2010-FARAI MAGUWU-High Court Bail Ruling set Monday 12 July 2010 

this should have come last evening but network access was hard & my laptop browser is compromised,,, I am grateful to Trust for help in preparing the detailed court update section.. 

Colleagues 

Today 9th July 2010 is night number 36 that Farai spends in jail before trial and before being found guilty of anything and while the police claim to be doing “extraterritorial investigations” allegedly with Abbey Chikane of the KPCS and Interpol. It is painful and sad. 

Apology

I am sorry for the silence yesterday. I was forced to change my regular residence while in Harare and found myself at a place with limited to zero network and so gave up on being in touch. Today the network seems kinder and I hope this gets to you all. 

Bail Hearing 

As reported previously, Farai’s bail hearing originally set for Wednesday 7th July 2010 was at the request of the Attorney General postponed to Friday the 9th July 2010, that is today. The matter was fortunately heard before Justice Garainesu Mawadze today 9th July 2010. Beatrice Mtetwa (assisted by Trust Maanda, instructed by Bere Brothers) argued for the defence that it is surely time that Farai is released on bail assuming there were good reasons to keep him inside all this time. The Attorney General predictably argued vigorously that Farai must remain in jail. 

We argued that the magistrate was wrong to deny bail again on the last remand when it was clear that the police have done nothing or little to finish the investigations. The police are lackadaisical in their approach to investigation because they know that the issue of investigation is the only issue that stands in the way of the granting of bail. The Investigating officer and the prosecutor had advised the magistrate that investigations are still pending without telling the court what snag they had hit if any that frustrated their investigations to the extent that they were not able to meet their own deadline of 22 June 2010 to finish the investigations. 

We also argued that the magistrate was wrong to give them an open cheque in so far as the time for investigations was now no longer limited to a specific period. What was worrying was that this was done in without any cogent explanation to the Magistrate as to the stage and relevance of the investigations. 

The state represented by B Murevanhema repeated the bald assertion that investigations were still underway and so bail should remain denied. He was asked by the judge how much time the state would require and he said he did not know because he had not anticipated the question. He then said a reasonable time is required. 

Now to those who have followed this case from the start it will be clear that they have shifted from a specific date to a “reasonable time”.

The judge asked him whether Farai should remain in prison for as long as the state says investigations are still ongoing. He mumbled something. The state is determined. He was asked how Farai can interfere with investigations taking place outside the country if he is released on condition he surrenders his passport. The prosecutor said he could use the cellphone to interfere.

But ironically the Investigating officer is not even using the same means to reach the so called witnesses. We could carry on, the record of this case will ultimately judge bear testimony and history stand as judge over what we believe is the malice that had pervaded the state’s actions in this case. Justice Mawadze reserved his ruling to Monday the 12th July 2010 at 11am. 

Hope 

The defence team remains hopeful that someday soon the courts will look upon Farai’s plight with sympathy and consider him deserving of bail and set him free. It is not easy to keep the faith when you count the days and speaking for myself, yesterday was for some reason particularly hard. I had brushes with anger, frustration and a sense of defeat. In the past our struggle has been with the police and the Attorney General. 

The courts have never taken this long to come to the aid of victims of this kind of arrest. I shudder to think how it is for the immediate family, worse for Farai. Knowledge that Farai is innocent and that there is a larger agenda for which he is being made to suffer helps reassure us that it’s a phase and it will come to an end when some day a court is concerned enough at this continued torture or punishment. 

Condition 

Reports of Farai’s health condition continue to encourage us. Farai is strong still and as long as the battle for his freedom is ongoing that has given him something to hold onto. However the steady count of days with no certainty of freedom is slowly getting to him. Your messages of encouragement and support which we pass onto him do embolden him. Thank you. 

Monday

For now we wait for Monday and ask that you keep Farai in your prayers. 

Regards

Tino Bere 

FARAI is FREE-UPDATE-for 12 July 2010-High Court Frees FARAI!

 Colleagues 

For many weeks I have longed and wished I had good news…today we have good news. This is day 39. Almost 40 days in jail is what these people condemned Farai but he is free now. 

Farai is FREE at last 

The toil by the defence team and friends and relatives was rewarded today when Justice Garainesu Mawadze in what is sure to be a leading case for bail cases in Zimbabwe ruled that the Magistrate was wrong to deny Farai bail. This ruling comes at the 5th time of begging and Farai was after 6 hours of urging, begging and demanding finally released from Harare Remand Prison. 

Bail Conditions 

The conditions are strict but they are better than prison and will in time be relaxed. They are as follows:- 

1. payment of $1,500 bail deposit (done)

2. reporting to Mutare Central police Station daily between 6am and 6pm.

3. Staying at his house in Mutare always.

4. No travelling beyond 40km radius from City of Mutare except when travelling for court business in Harare which must be by most direct route.

5. Not interfere with State witnesses and in particular not to interfere or communicate in any way (direct or indirect) with specific named witnesses.

6. That the police surrender Farai passport to Clerk of Court at Harare within 7 days (this will not affect bail). 

Attorney General illegal authority over Court Orders

We had problems expediting the payment of bail and release of Farai. We made a shocking discovery that the Clerk of Court requires  (based oral directives) that the orders issued by the courts including an order of the High Court, first be approved by the Public Prosecutor before bail can be accepted. Despite pointing out to the Clerk of Court, one Lydia Mutambirwa that”- 

-there is no law requiring or authorizing such practice.

-an order of the court is superior to and NOT subject to any approval by a mere Public Prosecutor.

-the Clerk of Court is not subject to the Public prosecutor.

‘-the Clerk of Court has a duty to verify any order with the Registrar and NOT the losing party she was stuck so deep in her fear on arrest and imprisonment should she follow the rules that it took the intervention of the Resident Provincial Magistrate (who allegedly issued the offending instruction) in order for bail to be paid. It is such a shame that for whatever the reason a High Court judge’s ruling must be subject to prior approval by a mere Prosecutor. 

Farai 

Farai is happy, ecstatic. He thanks all who supported him in their various organizations. Because of the bail conditions and because the trial is pending, Farai is unable to speak with all those who would wish to speak with him and to speak about all that people would wish him to speak on. Do bear with him if he should refuse to discuss the case, his defence or anything to do with any witnesses or potential witnesses. He is free to talk about his experiences at the hands of his captors. 

Next Court Day 

Farai appears in court 14th July 2010 for a routine remand at Harare. We will now seek that he be remanded to Mutare which is the court with jurisdiction. Farai will also demand return of his assets like the vehicle. 

Risk 

The risk remains that of arrest in installments. This occurs when the police maliciously split charges to force fresh arrest and fresh denial of bail. For now we pray the freedom lasts and that malicious designs if any will be defeated. 

Judgment 

We as a defence team believe that this judgment is extremely well thought out and well reasoned. It reminds us not to write off the bench. As soon as the ruling is available for circulation we will share it. 

Appreciation 

Thank you all for the endless support and encouragement. It would have been harder alone. It was an honour to be chosen by Farai and to be trusted with this tough battle to prevent his torture and to fight for his liberty. There are times when we were discouraged, angry and frustrated. It was an even greater honour to have the courageous, selfless and gifted defence team of Johane Zviuya, Trust Maanda and Beatrice Mtetwa as pillars of support. We wait to see what lies ahead. Do keep Farai in your prayers. 

Regards

Tino Bere 

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