Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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CSU statement on continued detention of staff

CSU statement on continued detention of staff

8 November 2012

Dear Colleagues,

Fidelis, Zachariah and Tafadzwa have just spent their third night in the 
police cells, two in Harare Central and last night, in Bulawayo Central 
Police Station after an unwarranted transfer to Bulawayo. They were 
transported on the back of an open pick up truck, registration ACD 6377, 
with no protection from the sun, despite the temperature reaching 33 degrees 
in Harare. They were then moved to Bulawayo from Kwekwe in a twin cab ABI 
3608 and arrived at 18h00. They were not interviewed by the police, but 
immediately detained in the police cells on a detention order which had been 
prepared in Harare.

The following facts of the arbitrary raid and arrest and detention need 

Counselling Services Unit is a lawfully registered medical clinic providing 
non-partisan counselling and referral to all victims of trauma.

On Monday 5 November, the clinic was threatened with violence and normal 
services were disrupted by the invasion of the clinic by 12 uniformed and 
non-uniformed police officers, including members of the Bomb Disposal Squad 
and an Information Technology expert. The clinic was surrounded by armed 
riot police who threatened to fire tear gas into the building, which is also 
occupied by other tenants. Patients awaiting services were left unattended 
for 4 hours while the police demanded and forcibly accessed confidential 
medical records. They removed a computer which contains confidential client 
information and client records. No further booked patients were able to 
enter the building to receive treatment.

Counselling Services Unit adheres to the Environmental Compliance 
requirements for health facilities, following the guidelines issued by the 
Ministry of Health. The guidelines require separation of cleaning materials 
for areas of ablution and areas of food storage and preparation. The 
cleaning utensils are clearly marked using spray paint, and the paint is 
stored on the premises in the work area of the janitor. It is not hidden or 
stored secretively and was purchased in July 2012. CSU have handed the 
receipts of purchase of three 250ml cans of spray paint from the local 
hardware store to the police. The police fixated on the finding of this 
paint and refused to listen to any explanation. With no further 
investigations, 5 staff members were arbitrarily arrested and transported to 
Harare Central Police station for further questioning. 2 staff members were 
released 2 hours later, and 3 have been detained since then with no warned 
and cautioned statement and no indication of charges. The removal of the 3 
staff to Bulawayo after the required time for a court appearance and the 
further detention order with no defined charges or substantive evidence of 
illegal activities constitutes serious and illegal harassment.

Counselling Services Unit is deeply concerned about the protracted course of 
this situation and the non-adherence to the law by the arresting officers. 
CSU is concerned about the safety of Fidelis Mudimu, Zachariah Godi and 
Tafadzwa Geza.

We would request solidarity and protest on the following fundamental issues 
of this series of events.

1. Disruption of medical services to victims of trauma, and the 
unwarranted terrorisation of patients awaiting services
2. The illegal access to confidential patient medical records
3. The unwarranted deployment of armed riot police to the offices 
creating alarm and fear to the other tenants of the building and surrounds
4. The illegal removal of a computer, which is not covered in the search 
warrant which stated a “search for material likely to deface any house, 
building, wall, fence, lamp post, gate or elevator without the consent of 
the owner or occupier thereof”.
5. The removal of confidential medical and legal records without 
permission of the patients to whom they pertain.
6. The arbitrary selection of staff for arrest with no concrete evidence 
of any crime having been committed, particularly in Bulawayo where CSU has 
no clinic.
7. The illegal detention and transfer of senior staff to Bulawayo without 
formal charges, and exceeding the time limit for appearance before a 
magistrate with formal charges.

Thank You.

Dr Frances Lovemore
Counselling Services Unit 


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