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Zimbabwe Rights Defenders Seek Bail for Marange Diamond Researcher Maguwu

  • Thomas Chiripasi

Meanwhile the parliamentary mines committee once again found itself unable to conduct a fact-finding mission in the Marange diamond field, despite a promise from Mines Minister Obert Mpofu early this month that they will be given access

Lawyers for Zimbabwean activist Farai Maguwu were in High Court on Thursday to appeal a decision by a Harare magistrate denying him bail pending trial on charges he published false information injurious to state interests.

VOA Studio 7 correspondent Thomas Chiripasi reported from Harare on efforts by human rights defenders to free Maguwu, who has been a vocal critic of government policy in the controversial Marange diamond field.

Elsewhere, Parliament's mines committee again found itself unable to conduct a fact-finding mission in the Marange field despite a promise from Mines Minister Obert Mpofu earlier this month that they would be given access.

Legislators ready to travel to Marange on Thursday were told Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri was out of the office and had left no clearance letter. His deputy, Innocent Matibiri, said Chihuri gave him no instructions.

The panel was earlier led to believe the only clearance required was from the Ministry of Mines.

The committee has been trying for months to gain access to Marange, but has come up against one obstacle after another in the Ministry of Mines, the Zimbabwe Republic Police and local jurisdictions.

Committee member Moses Mare of Chiredzi South told VOA Studio 7 reporter Sandra Nyaira that after spending the whole day at Parliament, the team was asked to return Friday in case Chihuri resurfaced.

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