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Judge Gives Police 72 Hours to Bring to Court Zimlive Editor's Nephew

Zimbabwe Police Outside Magistrates' Courts in Harare.

High Court judge Justice Makonese has ordered the police to investigate the whereabouts of Tawanda Muchehiwa and produce the outcome to the Magistrates Courts at Tredgold Building in Zimbabwe’s second city of Bulawayo within 72 hours.

The court ordered that the 72 hours commenced from 1400hrs on 1 August 2020. Muchehiwa is a nephew of ZimLive editor, Mduduzi Mathuthu.

This court order followed an urgent chamber application filed by lawyer Nqobani Sithole, on behalf of MISA Zimbabwe on 31 July 2020 for a habeas corpus in favour of Muchehiwa. The applicant, MISA Zimbabwe, was represented in court by lawyer Zibusiso Ncube.

Muchehiwa’s whereabouts remain unknown following his arrest at Mathuthu’s home in Mahatshula Suburb in Bulawayo on Thursday. He was arrested together with relatives, Amandlenkosi Mathuthu and Advent Mathuthu.

Mathuthu remains in hiding after police ransacked his home Thursday.

The police are claiming that they are unaware of Muchehiwa’s whereabouts despite his last known location being that of having been in the custody of the police at Bulawayo Central Police Station.

Officer-in-Charge of CID Law and Order Section Bulawayo and the Officer Commanding Police Bulawayo Province, are cited as the first and second respondents in the matter, respectively.

Writing on his Facebook page Saturday, Mathuthu said his nephew is in danger.

“The High Court today has ordered the police to turn over my nephew Tawanda Muchehiwa who was abducted last Thursday by Mnangagwa's shock troops and remains missing. The same thugs went to my house and when they couldn't find me, thought it wise to take my sister as bait. The crime is that I was manufacturing subversive July 31 protest material using cellular phones and cameras. It's fake news, but my nephew is in danger and I need your solidarity.”

According to the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, scores of people were arrested before and after the Friday anti-corruption protest. President Emmerson Mnangagwa says anti-government protesters are terrorists sponsored by the West.

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