Saturday, March 12, 2011

Treason charges poured on Gwisai and activists

AT LEAST FORTY FIVE opposition activists led by socialist protagonist Munyaradzi Gwisai were slapped with treason charges Wednesday as their lawyer complained that he was being denied access to his clients.
The group will spend a fifth night in jail on allegations they attended a dedicated lecture about the mass uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.
At a hearing late Wednesday, Harare magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi rescheduled the detainees to reappear Thursday.
Treason in Zimbabwe carries a possible death sentence.
Gwisai is also the Zimbabwe chief representative for the International Socialist Organisation.

The list of ISO activists arrested for plotting an ‘Egypt’ include:

1 Munyaradzi Gwisai (46)
Zimbabwe Labour Center
2 Antonater Choto
Zimbabwe Labour Center
3 Tatenda Mombeyarara
Zimbabwe Labour Center
4 Michael Sozinyu
Medical Professionals and Allied Workers Union
5 Edson Chakuma
United food and Allied Workers Union
6 Hopewell Gumbo
Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development
7 Welcome Zimuto
3rd Year student, Chinhoyi University
8 Philip Magaya
9 Prolific Simbarashe Mataruse
10 Godknows Biya
11 David Mupatse
12 Douglas Muzanenhamo
13 Reki Jimu (40)
Chitungwiza Central Hospital
14 Ganizani Nunu (41)
15 Josphat Chinembiri Terenyika (44)
16 Strutton Nyaya Muhambi (42)
17 Trevor Chamba (21)
18 Clarence Mugari (39)
Zimbabwe Graphical Workers Union
19 Munyaradzi Maregedze (35)
20 Willie Tinashe Hlatswayo (25)
4th year Student, UZ
21 Ian Muteto (23)
2nd years Student, Bindura University
22 Tinashe Mutazu (24)
23 Pride Evidence Mukono (age not given)
2nd year Student, UZ
24 Lenard Kamwendo (30)
Kubatana Trust
25 Tinashe Chisaira (24)
Zimbabwe Labour Center
26 Trust Munyama (25)
4th year Student, Harare Poly
27 Peter Garanewako (22)
28 Elizaberth Chipo Makume (53)
29 Megline Malunga (47)
30 Daison Bango (29)
31 Malvern Hobwana (24)
32 Tashinga Mudzengi (24)
Org not given
33 Ednar Chabalika (24)
34 Thokozile Mathe (34)
35 Francesca Thomson (41)
36 Masline Zvomuya (23)
Crossroads House
37 Nhamo Kute (36)
38 Annie Chipeta (42)
39 Tabeth Chideya (63)
40 Charles Mbwandarikwa (42)
Mutasa Pri School, Highfields
41 Thomas Chibaya (31)
42 Fatima Manhando (50)
43 Blessing Muguzaya (33)
44 Robert Muhlaba (54)
Seke Teacher’s College
45 Tinashe Muzambi (22)
The ACTIVISTS – who include students, trade unionists and political activists – were arrested when they gathered in Harare to watch Al Jazeera and BBC news reports on the uprisings that brought down autocrats in Tunisia and Egypt.
Police accused them of participating in an illegal political meeting where they watched videos “as a way of motivating them to subvert a constitutionally elected government.”
The evidence seized by the police included a video projector, two DVD discs and a laptop.
“The illegal meeting’s agenda, police said, was ‘Revolt in Egypt and Tunisia: What lessons can be learnt by Zimbabwe and Africa?’
Police found the topic incriminating, but many Zimbabweans have been asking themselves that very question as democratic revolutions have swept Arab nations.
Mugabe, who turned 87 on Monday, and his Zanu PF party ruled Zimbabwe single-handedly from 1980 until 2009, when regional leaders pressured him into forming a power-sharing government with his opposition rivals.
Gwisai, a socialist and iconoclast whose wife said he was expelled from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change in 2002 for supporting an aggressive land reform programme at a time when Zanu PF was encouraging violent seizures of white-owned commercial farms, has like many of his countrymen been watching the unrest in Arab nations.
His wife, Shantha Bloemen, who works for the United Nations in Johannesburg, said: “Obviously, all the happenings in Egypt And Tunisia have been taking center stage. The meeting was an opportunity to discuss what’s happened, especially for people who don’t have access to the internet or cable TV, both to express solidarity and to discuss the implications for Zimbabwe.”
Said lawyer Muchadehama: “This is a message that ‘If you attempt anything, we’re going to arrest you, assault you, incarcerate you, lay false charges against you, deny you bail, and occupy you with false trials. ... Read more at