19 February 2020
On 17 February 2020 Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) National Secretary General Robson Chere, ARTUZ Mashonaland West Provincial Chairperson Munyaradzi Ndawana, Lawyer Douglas Coltart, Precious Ndlovu and Jessica Drury, received a court summon to appear at Harare Magistrate’s court on 4 March 2020 at 0800. Facing charges of partcicipating in a gathering with the intention of inciting public violence. This emanated from when they were abducted last year.
The four were abducted on 27 April 2019, by about 10 men in plain clothes suspected to be Central Intelligence agents. They illegally forced themselves into a private property without a search warrant, in Greystone park Harare. They found us discussing Paulo Freire book titled “Pedagogy of the Opressed”. Their workshop materials were placed in a white Toyota Rev Reg number 7066.
They were dumped at a suspected Central Intelligence Organisation in Harare where Chere and Ndawana were physically tortured while Jessica and Precious were psychologically manipulated for several hours before being handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department Law and Order. They were released on the same day. Their torture by the state agents violated section 53 of the National constitution which states that, “No person maybe subjected to physical or psychological torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.
The constitution of Zimbabwe protects the right to freedom of expression which includes the right to seek, receive and communicate ideas (section 61) and the right to participate in collective gatherings or groups or any other manner, in peaceful activities to influence, challenge or support the policies of the government or any other cause, (section 67).
As ARTUZ, we encourage the responsible authorities to respect the rights of trade unionists. We also call upon our members and like minded individuals and organisations to be in solidarity with our Cdes on the 4th of March at Harare Magistrate’s Court.
ARTUZ INFORMATION DEPARTMENT
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