The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights ZLHR has intensified efforts to have a clergyman and 34 congregants released from detention for up to nearly 2 months.

The clergyman, Kanyenzura Parere and 34 congregants were arrested on 7 July and detained for marching in Harare while singing ‘Emmanuel tisunungure tanzwa nenhamo.

Loo(Save us Emmanuel, we are struggling to make ends meet)

In a thread of tweets, ZLHR says:

“We are intensifying efforts to get a clergyman & 34 church members released from prison, where they have spent close to 2 months.

52 year-old Kanyenzura Parere, who is a Bishop of Mirirai Jehovha Apostolic Church & is also leader of Zimbabwe Transformative Party, an opposition political party has been in detention at Harare Central Remand Prison since he was arrested by Police on 9 July.

Parare was apprehended as he marched in Harare together with 34 members of his church while singing a gospel song with the lyrics “Emmanuel tisunungureiwo tanzwa ne nhamo”.

He was charged with contravening section 7(1)(5) of MOPO Act after he allegedly convened a gathering & led a procession of his church members without notifying ZRP.

Prosecutors claimed that Parere & his followers, who are represented by ZLHR gathered at Copacabana bus terminus & marched in Harare’s central business district while singing & were intercepted by some ZRP officers as they had not notified law enforcement agents about their protest.

Parere’s trial is scheduled to commence on 7 September 2022 before Harare Magistrate Tafadzwa Miti. 34 of Parere’s political party supporters were charged with criminal nuisance as defined in section 46 of Criminal Code.

Prosecutors alleged that the 34 church members unlawfully acted in a manner which is likely to create a nuisance by walking on the roads & pavements while singing a gospel song with the lyrics “Emmanuel tisunungureiwo tanzwa ne nhamo” & thereby obstructed the free passage & movement of people & vehicles.

Their trial is scheduled to commence on 26 September 2022.