Police search detained NGO leaders’ homes, offices for gun

MASVINGO— The police and state security agents have reportedly taken one of the five civil society activists arrested last week at Robert Mugabe International Airport on allegations of undergoing training to violently overthrow President Mnangagwa’s government to his home and offices to conduct a search for guns.

The director of Community Tolerance, Reconciliation and Development (Cotrad), Gamuchirai Mukura, was on Tuesday taken from Harare to Masvingo for a search at his home and his organisation’s offices.

Mukura was arrested on Monday last week, May 20, upon touching down at Robert Mugabe International Airport from an overseas workshop.

He was arrested alongside Citizens Manifesto co-ordinator Tatenda Mombeyarara, Centre for Community Development in Zimbabwe (CCDZ) advocacy officer George Makoni, Nyasha Frank Mpahlo of Transparency International (TI) Zimbabwe chapter.

The civil society leaders have been remanded in custody to June 6, 2019.

Their lawyer, Jeremiah Bhamu of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) confirmed that Mukura was being transported to Masvingo for a search of the properties.

“They suspect that our clients possess subversive material including guns so they have already left Harare Central Prison for Masvingo. I understand the others will also be taken to their various places in Harare for similar searches,” said Bhamu.

He said Martin Mureri of Matutu and Mureri Legal Practitioners will act as Mukura’s stand-by lawyer in Masvingo.

Cotrad programmes officer Zivanai Muzorodzi confirmed receiving communication that the organisation’s offices will be searched.

“Yes. We received communications from our lawyers that we will soon be searched. I can’t say anything more,” said Muzorodzi.

The police yesterday arrested two more civil society leaders bringing the total to seven.