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Journalist sues state over illegal detention

(MISA/IFEX) - On 14 July 2009, freelance photojournalist Andrisson Manyere and 15 members of the Movement for Democratic Change-T (MDC-T) filed a lawsuit with the High Court demanding compensation in the amount of US$19.2 million from the Co-Ministers of Home Affairs and State Security agents, following their alleged abduction, unlawful detention and deprivation of liberty.

In the lawsuit, each plaintiff is demanding US$1.2 million for unlawful abduction, forced disappearance, unlawful detention, unlawful arrest and unlawful deprivation of liberty. The state is also being sued for torture, pain, shock, suffering and psychological trauma, humiliating and degrading treatment, loss of amenities of life and malicious prosecution.

The 16 plaintiffs are demanding compensation from the Co-Ministers of Home Affairs, Kembo Mohadi and Giles Mutsekwa. The two are jointly cited along with Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri, Prisons Commissioner Paradzai Zimondi and Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) Director-general Happyton Bonyongwe.

Also being sued are Police Senior Assistant Commissioner Nyathi, Chief Superintendent Crispen Makendenge, Detective Chief Inspector Mpofu, Chief Superintendent Peter Magwenzi, Senior Assistant Commissioner of the Prisons Services Chiobvu, Detective Chief Inspector Elliot Muchada, Superintendent Josh Shasha Tenderere, Assistant Inspector Maria Phiri, Detective Inspector Chibaya, Detective Muuya and Assistant Director of the external branch of the CIO, Asher Walter Tapfumaneyi.


Manyere, who is presently on bail, has been charged under Section 23 (1) (a) (i) (ii) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Chapter 9 (23) which deals with insurgency, banditry, sabotage or terrorism. He first appeared before the Harare Magistrates Court on 24 December 2008 together with Zimbabwe Peace Project director Jestina Mukoko.

Prior to that he had been reported missing after he had taken his vehicle to a garage in Norton about 40 kilometres west of Harare on 13 December 2008 until his appearance in court on 24 December 2008.

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