News / Africa

Zimbabwe Activists Charged with High Treason

A group of 46 social and human rights activists, led by Munyaradzi Gwisai is alleged to have organized a meeting, appear in court in Harare, February 23, 2011
A group of 46 social and human rights activists, led by Munyaradzi Gwisai is alleged to have organized a meeting, appear in court in Harare, February 23, 2011

Forty-six people in Zimbabwe, charged with high treason, appeared in court in Harare Thursday.

Defense lawyer Alec Muchadahama said he estimates 10 of the defendants in court were having difficulty sitting down or walking.

He said they claimed they were assaulted in detention at Harare Central Police Station after their arrests last Saturday.  He said some of the defendants were denied access to medical attention.

Muchadahama said that after lengthy arguments and delays, the case was postponed until Monday.

He said the state said it needed more time to prepare its case. Muchadahama said he will apply on Monday for charges to be dropped against the 46.

The states claims the group, including 11 women, were watching videos and engaged in discussions to formulate a plot to overthrow President Robert Mugabe. Police also say the group should have secured official permission to hold their meeting.

President Robert Mugabe has regularly used treason charges against his political opponents since he came to power in 1980.

Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change and prime minister in the unity government was charged with high treason weeks before he first challenged Mr. Mugabe in presidential elections in 2002.

The best known of the group of 46 now being charged  is Munyaradzi Gwisai, a law lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe and head of the Harare branch of the International Socialist Organization.  He was previously a legislator for the MDC but was expelled because he supported Mr. Mugabe’s seizures of white-owned land.

Another in the group, Hopewell Gumbo is a former student leader, now employed by a non-governmental organization in rural areas working with farmers.

He is one of those who allege he was assaulted in detention.

In a recent interview with VOA, Gumbo said politics affected farmers regardless of whether they were Zanu PF or MDC. "I personally work for an organization that has started an initiative with the rural cotton farmers,  in terms of  pricing of their commodities, that kind of strategy goes above political differences because when Zanu PF and MDC  farmers meet  they realize their problems are common and political issues can only divide them at the end of the day," he said.

The people in the group charged with treason, which carries the death sentence, claim they met regularly to discuss international political events, particularly as they affect the working class.  

You May Like

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid