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Zimbabwe court bans top lawyer from representing journalist | News

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A Zimbabwe court has ordered that a top rights lawyer be barred from representing a prominent journalist because she allegedly ran Facebook pages critical of the country’s justice system.

The magistrate court in the capital, Harare, ruled on Tuesday that Beatrice Mtetwa – an internationally acclaimed lawyer who has been at the forefront of defending the country’s human rights activists – be removed from representing award-winning journalist Hopewell Chin’ono.

Chin’ono faces charges of inciting violence for his role in promoting protests against corruption in late July that were banned and led to a government crackdown on dissent.

The state accused Mtetwa of writing contemptuous letters to the country’s magistrates and high courts, and of running Facebook pages that denigrated the courts.

“In view of the submissions by both the state and the defence, the disqualification of the lead counsel Beatrice Mtetwa as requested by the state be and is hereby granted,” ruled magistrate Ngoni Nduna.

The posts undermined public confidence in the courts, the magistrate said.

“The picture portrayed a biased justice system and the world was invited to an outrage over abuse of human rights,” he added.

Mtetwa denied any knowledge of the Facebook pages.

She said the government was leading a “personal” attack against her with a “chilling effect” on other lawyers.

“The idea is to say to human rights lawyers, ‘If you represent such a client we will come after you,'” Mtetwa told reporters outside court, adding that her team would challenge the decision.

“The right to legal representation has been curtailed by a court which is supposed to be supporting that right.”

Mtetwa had served as the lead counsel for Chin’ono, who helped expose a multimillion-dollar corruption scandal involving the procurement of coronavirus protection gear and test kits.

The journalist has been in jail since he was arrested by armed police at his house in Harare on July 20.

Chin’ono had encouraged the public to join the July 31 anti-government protests via Twitter.

The protests were then banned, and around 20 activists who held demonstrations in their neighbourhoods were arrested and have since been freed on bail.

Those arrested included internationally acclaimed writer and Booker Prize nominee Tsitsi Dangarembga.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Muntu Blocked in Kamwenge

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Alliance for National Transformation presidential candidate Gen. Mugisha Muntu has been blocked from campaigning in Kamwenge according to a statement he released earlier today.Below is the full statement:

STATEMENT
Today in Kamwenge, as we have done since the start of the campaign season, we headed out to speak with the people. We had earlier in the week agreed on the venue with security agencies. No one had anticipated that it would rain as much as it did, making it impossible for us or the people to access.

After identifying an alternative place only 100m away from the original venue, negotiating with the owner and communicating the same to the public, we headed to the second venue only to be stopped by police.

Our policy has always been to do all we can to be reasonable, even in the face of unreasonable action on the part of the state. We engaged the police leadership in a civilized, respectable manner well knowing that they intended to not only frustrate us, but cause us to act in ways that would give them an excuse to cause chaos. This was on top of their intimidating the radio we had booked and duly paid to appear on.

While we are confident that we are on the right side of both the law and reason, we have chosen not to endanger the lives of our supporters or the general public by escalating the situation. We will do everything humanly possible to avoid a single life being lost or blood being shed on account of our campaign.

And yet this truth remains: the regime’s days are numbered.

ChangeYouCanTrust

CountryBeforeSelf

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Is Johnson Byabashaija courting Enid Kukunda for protection?

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The very amiable Commissioner General of Prisons Canon Johnson Byabashaija was recently sighted with President Y K Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s second wife Enid Kukunda as the two had a very secretive meeting in one of the city hangouts.

According to our informers, the two seem to be in a deep conversation that they wouldn’t allow a housefly pass around. However, sources further reveal that Byabashaija could have courted the second lady for protection given that he has amassed a lot of wealth and could be a subject of investigations.

Our sources reveal that Byabashaija who carries himself as Mr.I know it all hasn’t met Madam Enid alone but a host of others with connections to the centre of power in the country.

We will bring you more detail

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Bobi Wine released on Bail

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Presidential candidate and kyadondo East legislator Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu has been realeased on bail by the Iganga magistrates court where he appeared to defend himself against accusations of flouting COVID-19 campaign SOPs. A defiant Kyagulanyi took the opportunity to blast the incumbent Yoweri Museveni, whom he accuses of using state power to quell dissident.

This follows a tense week that has seen thousands injured and several dead following Hon. Kyagulanyi’s arrest earlier this week. Demonstrations and riots erupted in many parts of the country and heavy police and army deployment was seen all over the country.

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