By Hope Sarara
HUMAN rights lawyers on Thursday rushed to the rescue of a 10 months old baby taken into custody with her mother after the violent scenes that rocked Harare on Wednesday.
In a short statement the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZHLR) said the infant’s mother had along with six others been granted bail.
“In Harare the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights rescued a 10 months old baby and her mother from detention after applying for their release on $200 bail together with six other Harare residents arrested Wednesday and charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly refusing to move away from pavements in the Central Business District,” the statement on the ZLHR twitter handle said.
ZLHR information officer Kumbirai Mafunda indicated one of those arrested had not been granted bail.
Several people were injured in chaotic scenes that followed an ill-fated bid by MDC leader Nelson Chamisa to deliver a “Hope of the Nation Address”.
Chamisa initially wanted to deliver the statement from the Africa Unity Square but was stopped by police before authorities violently dispersed hundreds of his supporters who had gathered at his party headquarters to hear their leader speak.
According to the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights the girl was caught up in the mayhem when her mother was picked up while on the way to the bank.
“The 10 month-old baby is currently detained at Harare Central Police Station together with her mother, who was arbitrarily arrested by ZRP
officers on Wednesday 20 November 2019 together with seven other people while in the central business district and charged with
disorderly conduct in a public place as defined in section 41 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act,” a statement from the rights lawyers group said.
ZLHR identified those arrested as Collen Mubandarikwa (32), Gift Ben (30), Rose Chitsungo (30), Maria Tinago (36), Shoko Zindoga (42), Godfrey Karembera (42), Victor Maramba (20) and Honzeri Zondani (37).
The statement however did not directly identify the girl’s mother among those in custody but indicated the group is represented by Nontokozo Dube-Tachiona and Tonderai Bhatasara members of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.
Added the statement: “By end of day on Wednesday 20 November 2019, ZLHR lawyers were trying to convince ZRP officers to agree to release the baby and her mother, who was arrested while on her to the bank.”