Four Bulawayo Agenda officials arrested on Saturday for contravening some provisions of the country’s tough security laws have been released amid a growing outcry from human rights groups about the continued use of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) which they say violates the new constitution.
Victoria Falls police arrested Mmeli Dube, Butholezwe Nyathi, Ntobiyezansi Tozana and Thulani Moyo for having held a meeting without police clearance. Dube, Nyathi and Tozana who are all Bulawayo-based were ordered to pay bail amounting to $100 and Victoria Falls-based Moyo paid $50 bail.
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights condemned the arrest saying it is “concerned by the police’s obsession to continue curtailing citizens’ fundamental rights by abusing and using some provisions of POSA.”
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition echoed similar statements, saying the arrests violate section 58 of the constitution which guarantees freedom of assembly and association.
The US based RFK Partners for Human Rights also raised serious concern over the arrests.
Lawyer Lizwe Jamela of the ZLHR said the four were ironically arrested while teaching people about their rights.