Some rich journalist!

Andrisson Manyere a freelance journalist who has made more headlines from his arrests than from his journalistic work seems to be doing quite well –moneywise.

According to a diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks Manyere had US$4 500, a laptop computer, three cell phones and digital camera when he was abducted by security agents in December 2008.

At the time, Zimbabwe was still using Zimdollars. The cash that Manyere had was enough to pay two senior journalists for a year.

Manyere was claiming for the items through Tawanda Zvekare head of litigation in the attorney-general’s office.

His colleagues also filed similar claims with Gandhi Mudzingwa, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s aide at the time saying he lost a truck, US$310 and cell phone and shoes. Fidelis Chiramba lost three cameras, shoes and a belt.

The three together with other activists including another former journalist Jestina Mukoko filed a $19.2 million lawsuit against government ministers and security officers after the Supreme Court ruled that security agents had violated their constitutional rights by abducting, detaining and torturing them.

The ministers cited included Didymus Mutasa who was Minister of State Security at the time, Kembo Mohadi who was Minister of Home Affairs and Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 09HARARE775, ZIM SUPREME COURT: SECURITY FORCES VIOLATED MUKOKO'S

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

09HARARE775

2009-09-28 15:03

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO5973

OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0775/01 2711503

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

O 281503Z SEP 09

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4958

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 2384

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 3058

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 3171

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1600

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2434

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2803

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 3219

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5664

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2351

RUZEHAA/CDR USEUCOM INTEL VAIHINGEN GE

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC

RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000775

 

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B. WALCH

DRL FOR N. WILETT

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR M. GAVIN

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR L. DOBBINS AND E. LOKEN

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PHUM EAID ASEC PGOV PREL ZI

SUBJECT: ZIM SUPREME COURT: SECURITY FORCES VIOLATED MUKOKO'S

CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS

 

REF: A. HARARE 524

B. HARARE 29

 

-------

SUMMARY

-------

 

1. (U) On September 28 the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of

Zimbabwe issued a ruling on behalf of a unanimous court that the

constitutional rights of human rights activist Jestina Mukoko had

been violated in connection with her abduction, torture, and

detention by State agents last year. The Court further ruled that

her rights had been violated to such an extent as to warrant a

permanent stay of prosecution in the pending terrorism case against

her. Finally, the Court ruled that a related pending case against

eight others should also be stayed. The Court will issue a detailed

document describing the justification for the ruling in the future.

A court-ordered investigation into the circumstances of the

abductions of Mukoko and the others is pending, as are civil suits

for damages against police, security agents, and government

officials. END SUMMARY.

 

---------------------

Court Grants Reprieve

---------------------

 

2. (U) In an overflowing courtroom at the Supreme Court, Chief

Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku read the unanimous finding of the Court

that Jestina Mukoko's constitutional rights were violated to such an

extent that she is entitled to a permanent stay of the prosecution

against her. Specifically, the State violated her rights under

sections 13(1), 15(1) and 18(1) of the constitution. These sections

afford protection of the rights to liberty, to freedom from torture,

and to the full protection of the law. Mukoko's application to the

Supreme Court for a stay of proceedings based on her abduction in

December 2008 was heard in June this year (Ref A). During the June

hearing, her lawyers described her abduction and torture in detail

and the State admitted its agents had tortured Mukoko. The

underlying charge of terrorism against Mukoko was based on an

alleged plot to recruit insurgents to launch an armed insurgency

from Botswana.

 

3. (U) Today's Supreme Court ruling also applies to eight other

abductees who faced similar charges. Another group that was

abducted in the same time frame and is charged with a 2008 series of

bombings of police stations, railroad tracks, and bridges, was not

included in the September 28 ruling; that application is pending

separately with the Supreme Court. Lawyers tell us that unless the

State can somehow differentiate the cases, the "bombers" should also

receive the same stay of prosecution from the Supreme Court.

 

4. (U) With the stay of prosecution, police will return Mukoko and

the other defendants their passports, and they will no longer have

to report regularly to the police, as required by the bail granted

in February. The Court will issue a detailed written ruling at some

Qin February. The Court will issue a detailed written ruling at some

point in the future, but this may not happen for several months.

 

------------------------------

Still Pending: Prosecution for

Perpetrators and Civil Suits

------------------------------

 

5. (U) The abductees' court battles are not over yet, but they are

moving from defense to offense. The nagging issue of prosecution

 

HARARE 00000775 002 OF 002

 

 

against those who ordered and carried out the abductions will likely

now move to center stage. In January, a magistrate's court ordered

police to investigate the abductions, torture, and illegal

detentions, including the identities of all those responsible. At

the time, then-Minister of State Security, Didymus Mutasa, submitted

an affidavit attempting to block the investigation; the court

nonetheless ordered police to investigate and to file a report by

February. To date, the police have not done so. Lawyers believe

that, although today's ruling is a significant acknowledgement of

the State's illegal actions, justice will not fully be served until

those responsible for the abuses are held accountable.

 

6. (U) In addition, the abductees have already filed civil suits for

damages. Mukoko and other abductees separately sued two cabinet

ministers and the security agents who abducted them for a combined

USD 19.2 million in damages for unlawful abduction, detention and

deprivation of liberty. In an application filed at the High Court

on July 27, Mukoko claimed USD 220,000 from Defense Minister

Emmerson Mnangagwa and co-Ministers of Home Affairs Kembo Mohadi and

Giles Mutsekwa. Mukoko also sued State Security Minister Didymus

Mutasa, Attorney General Johannes Tomana, Police Commissioner

General Augustine Chihuri, Police Chief Superintendent Peter

Magwenzi, and Walter Tapfumaneyi, an agent of the State's Central

Intelligence Organization. The suit against Tomana alleges he

failed to meet his constitutional obligation to ensure the arrest

and prosecution of her alleged kidnappers. The High Court has not

yet set a date to hear Mukoko's application.

 

7. (SBU) In addition to the pending civil suits, earlier this month

some abductees sent a letter to the Attorney General's head of

litigation, Tawanda Zvekare, seeking assistance in returning the

property that was taken by the State security agents who abducted

them in 2008. For example, Gandhi Mudzingwa lost his truck, USD 310,

a cell phone, and shoes. Fidelis Chiramba lost three cameras,

shoes, and a belt. Freelance journalist Andrisson Manyere lost USD

4,500, a laptop computer, three cell phones, a digital camera, and

his passport. Mukoko jokingly told us that she was "lucky" because

since she was taken in the middle of the night, without even a

chance to get her glasses, the security agents didn't have anything

of hers to keep. Zvekare has not responded or acknowledged receipt

of the letter.

 

-------

COMMENT

-------

 

8. (SBU) The Supreme Court ruling in favor of Jestina Mukoko is a

welcome development. We expect that the "bombers" will soon receive

a similar ruling from the Court. The Mukoko judgment is a public

Qa similar ruling from the Court. The Mukoko judgment is a public

embarrassment to the State security apparatus and the ZANU-PF

officials who were in charge of it at the time, including the

police, intelligence officers, and Minister Mutasa. We expect that

ZANU-PF will spin it as demonstrating that rule of law exists in

Zimbabwe. We celebrate today's ruling, but we are all too aware

that the State could easily invent other charges against these

activists or obstruct the pending civil suits and investigations

against the State agents who carried out the abductions. END

COMMENT.

 

PETTERSON

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