Artuz boss files illegal detention lawsuit against police

AMALGAMATED Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) deputy secretary general (DSG) Munyaradzi Masiyiwa on Friday filed a lawsuit against the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) for illegal detention.

The lawsuit comes after Masiyiwa was reportedly illegally arrested and detained by police in Harare on August 16, 2019 for participating in what was deemed public violence.

He spent 23 days in remand prison but was released without prosecution.

Masiyiwa said the police summoned him last week upon receiving his lawsuit papers.

“Harare police received papers for the lawsuit and they started looking for me everywhere,” Masiyiwa said.

On Friday last week, Masiyiwa reportedly went to Harare Central Police Station after he was summoned.

He told this publication that the police wanted him to withdraw the lawsuit he had launched against the police but he declined.

They interrogated me concerning the lawsuit; Their strategy was to make me withdraw the lawsuit but I declined,” he said.

The union’s DSG said he would soon file a second lawsuit for being interrogated in line with the lawsuit.

Speaking to Zim Morning Post, the Artuz DSG said he would be adding another lawsuit on top of the one he had already filed.

According to the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) spokesperson, Obey Shava, Masiyiwa was severely assaulted the first time he was assaulted by the police and is said to have sustained some internal injuries.

He also said witnesses who reportedly witnessed the assault incident were no longer available to give evidence in the case.

“The witnesses provided by the police are not forthcoming and (allegedlly) have no evidence to incriminate my client,” Shava said.

The ZLHR lawyer fumed over reports the police on Friday had summoned Masiyiwa witthout his knowledge.

“I’m not comfortable with the approach in which the police decided to interrogate my client without first informing me first. This is an abrogation of the law,” Shava complained.

In his words, the police reportedly hoped to settle the case with Masiyiwa outside the courts.

He also said they would resist any such move.

“I doubt the sincerity of the police in suggesting to settle the lawsuit out-of-court,” he also added.