Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, Press Statement
In a clear case of political persecution by the State, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) have detained the President of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) President and Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition spokesperson, Obert Masaraure on ‘murder charges’.
Masaraure was arrested today, June 14, 2022 after he had gone to Harare Central Police Station as part of his routine bail conditions in a case in which he was arrested for treason and participating in a protest against poor wages.
The latest arrest is in connection with the death of an ARTUZ member, Roy Issa, who fell from the 7th Floor of Jameson Hotel in Harare in 2016. After the death of the ARTUZ member, the Magistrates Court ruled out foul play following an inquest. The then Police spokesperson, Charity Charamba confirmed that the deceased threw himself while drunk and died immediately after the fall.
It is shocking that the police would go ahead to arrest Masaraure over the same case 6 years down the line.
The arrest of Masaraure is a calculated attempt by the state to silence all critics of ZANU PF’s misrule and misgovernance and equally a deliberate ploy to persecute human rights activists and civil society activists ahead of the 2023 elections.
We take note of the continued weaponization of the law and abuse of the criminal justice system by the ruling ZANU PF party using the police and the courts.
We wish to bring it to the attention of the nation that in the previous weeks, the State has been making spirited moves to bribe witnesses in a bid to come up with incriminating evidence against Masaraure and this is also part of efforts to deflate Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition.
Masaraure has been outspoken against human rights violations in Zimbabwe and as has become the norm, the state has resorted to terror and weaponization of the law in a bid to punish and silence him.
We implore the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to conduct themselves in a professional manner and desist from pursuing partisan political interests.
Masaraure is a victim of state sponsored terror and must be freed unconditionally.