By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |
Norton legislator Temba Mliswa has accused President Emmerson Mngangagwa’s administration of going into overdrive committing human rights abuses following the police detention of nine war veterans who were arrested for besieging Finance minister Mthuli Ncube’s office demanding better pensions.
Late last month, the war veterans, who are members of the War Veterans Welfare Pressure Group, were arrested at the New Government Complex in the central business district and charged with inciting public violence before the charges were lifted.
On Wednesday Mliswa asked the Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe why the police had detained them for 48 hours and failed to take them to court as per the Constitution.
“Madam Speaker, the Minister is well within his jurisdiction to cite that in the Constitution. The Constitution that he spoke about, talks about somebody being detained for 48 hours and within that time they must be taken to court.
“That is what it says. The reason why that provision is there is so that people are not detained for more than 48 hours but again, you can be detained for a day and go to court. The question here is; why were they detained and not go to court because within 48 hours, you must go to court.
“They did not go to court. This is the question I am asking the Minister because of this constitutional issue, unfortunately Hon. Ziyambi told him without studying. Hon. Kazembe is very smart but the issue here is very clear.
“I know this because I have been arrested enough times to understand how this works. Forty eight hours you must go to court. If you have no case, you are not supposed to be arrested. What was the point of arresting them and not taking them to court?” Mliswa asked.
He added a complaint that, “this Second Republic has gone into overdrive in the abuse of human rights and persecution. They must know that this is the reason why the late former President R.G. Mugabe ended up (being) shown the exit because of not respecting the rule of law…”
Mliswa said the arrests were personal and that they had “nothing to do with the law. They are political arrests which we at Parliament must protect the people from being harassed by institutions which are personalised and not going with the laws of the country.
“The question still remains – why arrest people for 48 hours, detain them and release them at night?”
Kazembe responded by accusing Mliswa of being emotional.
He also read part of the constitution where it is noted that when one is brought to court within a 48 hour period he or she must be released immediately.
“I feel for the Hon. Member. He is so emotional because it involves our war veterans….
“Now, we go to the next one which the Hon. Member was referring to ‘Any person who is not brought to court within a 48 hour period referred to in subsection (2) must be released immediately unless their detention has earlier been extended by a competent court’. These people were released immediately,” Kazembe said. Nehanda Radio