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Gweru Prosecutor Dismisses Civil Society Workers' Case

A Gweru prosecutor has dismissed charges against two civil society workers arrested Friday for allegedly holding a meeting without police authorization.

The workers’ lawyer praised the dismissal and criticised police for failing to investigate before making the arrest.

Attorney Brian Dube slammed police for what he calls a trend of making arrests without proper investigation.

Dube spoke after a Gweru prosecutor said there was no evidence to try two members of the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), who spent two days in custody for allegedly meeting without notifying the police.

The two – ZESN staffer Emma Chiseya, and Lucy Chivasa, the organisation’s taskforce member - were arrested along with 27 others.

While the 27 were released later the same day, Chiseya and Chivasa were granted police bail on Sunday, two days later.

Representing the two, Dube said that when he went to court, area prosecutor Samuel Pedzisai told him that his clients had no case to answer.

Dube said the police need to investigate properly before they make arrests, adding that human rights lawyers should lobby for a system which makes it difficult for police to arrest human rights defenders without justification.

Complaints against police for making arbitrary arrests of human rights defenders and some politicians are commonplace.
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