Two Harare lawyers, Sternford Moyo and Wilbert Mapombere, were arrested for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government and were released after 48 hours.
Moyo was president of the Law Society of Zimbabwe and Mapombere the society’s executive secretary.
The two were alleged to have written letters to the British High Commission in Harare and the Movement for Democratic Change calling for the suspension of crisis talks between the MDC and the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.
The two were to appear in court for contravening a section of the Public Order and Security Act.
Viewing cable 02HARARE1378, LAW SOCIETY LEADERS FREED AFTER 48 HOURS IN JAIL
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS HARARE 001378
DEPT FOR AF/PD, AF/S, AF/RA
NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER
LONDON FOR GURNEY
PARIS FOR NEARY
NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER
E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: LAW SOCIETY LEADERS FREED AFTER 48 HOURS IN JAIL
¶1. Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) President Sternford Moyo
and LSZ Executive Secretary Wilbert Mapombere were released
from police custody on June 5 after spending 48 hours in
custody on charges of plotting to overthrow the government
of Robert Mugabe. The two have been ordered to appear at
the Harare Magistrates’ Court on June 6 to be formally
charged for contravening a section of the newly enacted
Public Order and Security Act (POSA).
¶2. Moyo and Mapombere are alleged to have written letters
to the British High Commission in Harare and the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), calling for the
suspension of crisis talks between the opposition MDC and
Mugabe’s ruling ZANU PF party. The government also accused
Moyo and Mapombere of writing letters in support of mass
action. The two men have denied the charges as “fabricated
and without any legal foundation.”
¶2. Meanwhile, the High Court of Zimbabwe ruled that Moyo
and Mapombere’s arrest was lawful. The ruling by Judge
President Justice Garwe in Harare yesterday dismissed an
application by the two lawyers that sought to have the
arrest and detention declared unlawful.