CCDZ officers released on bail

HARARE - Centre for Community Development in Zimbabwe (CCDZ) programme officer George Makoni and community mobiliser Gift Konjani have been granted $50 bail each by Chegutu magistrate after spending the weekend in police custody.

Makoni and Konjani who are represented by Jeremiah Bamu of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) are being charged under the draconian Public Order and Security Act (POSA).

The two will be back at the Chegutu Magistrates’ Court on March 6 to answer to charges of holding an illegal meeting on the new constitution and preparation for elections.

The two were arrested together with Reverend Deve of the Chegutu Church of Christ for holding an illegal meeting. Reverend Deve was released on the same day after police recorded a statement from him.

The meeting which was held last Friday at Pfupajena in Chegutu is part of the CCDZ drive to provide civic education to residents of various communities on the new constitution and preparing for the forthcoming elections.

The purpose of the meetings is to mobilise people to participate in the constitutional referendum and the elections.

Commenting on the arrests, CCDZ director Phillip Pasirayi said: “There is absolutely nothing criminal about the work that we and other organisations are doing.

As civil society we were of the mistaken view all along that the new inclusive government would respect our rights of freedom of association and assembly”.

Pasirayi added that: “CCDZ will continue to provide civic education and encouraging citizen participation in the political process. Each time elections are looming civil society organisations are subjected to harassment by the authorities”. - Staff Writers

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