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Police intensify systematic clampdown on CSOs with raid on ZPP
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)

February 11, 2013

Zimbabwean police on Monday 11 February 2013 intensified their systematic crackdown on civil society organisations by raiding the offices of the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) and seized several documents and other materials.

Five members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police led by Detective Assistant Inspector C. Nyoni stormed the ZPP offices in Harare's Hillside suburb, where they searched the organisation's offices for "subversive material and illegal immigrants".

The five police officers from the Criminal Investigation Department stationed at Harare Central Police Station's Law and Order Section, who included Detective Assistant Inspector Ben Justen, Nyabuwa, Mugogodi and Mapara were armed with a search warrant issued by Superintendent Jeremiah Murenje which permitted the search for "subversive material, documents, gadgets, recordings and illegal immigrants".

The police officers charged that there were reasonable grounds that the Jestina Mukoko-led ZPP was in possession of some articles which the organisation intended to use for criminal use in contravention of Section 40 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

The police also suspected ZPP, which was once raided in December 2008, to have contravened the Immigration Act by permitting some unidentified illegal immigrants to enter the country without a work permit and to have smuggled some undisclosed goods in breach of Section 182 (1) of the Customs and Excise Act.

After the three-hour raid and search, which occurred in the presence of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) lawyers Beatrice Mtetwa, Gift Mtisi and Tawanda Zhuwarara, who monitored the situation, the police seized some documents and other items such as mobile phone handsets, wind up radios, files with donor information, political violence reports and DVD's. No-one was arrested but the police indicated that they were going to "study" the information.

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