POLICE yesterday arrested human rights lawyer Alec Muchadehama on allegations of obstructing the course of justice after he allegedly connived with a junior High Court official to facilitate the release on bail of photo-journalist Shadreck Manyere, former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s aide Gandhi Mudzingwa and MDC-T security director Kisimusi Dhlamini last month.
Muchadehama was nabbed by officers from the Law and Order Section of the police at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts while processing the release orders for Manyere, Mudzingwa and Dhlamini who were granted bail by the High Court on Wednesday.
The arrest is the latest in a series of arrests of court officials, lawyers, journalists and members of parliament.
Information gathered last night was that Muchadehama is accused of having connived with the clerk of Justice Chinembiri Bhunu to facilitate the improper release of Manyere from Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison and Mudzingwa and Dhlamini under hospital detention at the Avenues Clinic on April 17.
Police have already arrested the clerk for passing on to the court registrar Bhunu’s instruction for their release.
“They have taken him to Harare Central Police Station,” said Charles Kwaramba, a partner in Muchadehama’s law firm. “They have been looking for him for the last three days at court.”
The Zimbabwe Independent is reliably informed that Muchadehama’s lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, yesterday filed an urgent High Court application against the arrest of her client. Muchadehama was part of the defence team representing Manyere, Dhlamini and Mudzingwa.
The defence team facilitated the release on bail of Manyere on April 9 and on Wednesday.
On May 5 Manyere, human rights activist Jestina Mukoko and 14 other alleged saboteurs had their bail conditions revoked by Magistrate Catherine Chimanda who ruled that the court had no jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
She also ruled that the indictment of the accused to the High Court automatically suspended their bail and consequently remanded them in custody.
However, a few days later Chimanda restored bail for the accused after the Attorney-General and principals to the inclusive government intervened.
The arrest of lawyers, journalists and human rights activists is widely seen as a move by a cabal in Zanu PF bent on undermining the inclusive government formed in February.
The global political agreement that gave birth to the power-sharing government calls for an end to political repression and for media and human rights reforms.
Western governments have been refusing to at unlock the much-needed development aid to the country until the crackdown on human rights activists and MDC members is halted. – Staff Reporter.