In a turn of events that smacks of retribution, the Police summoned freelance journalist Edgar Gweshe to report at Marimba Police Station where 3 charges of contravening curfew failing to observe social distancing & public drinking were preferred against him.
The 2 new charges were never preferred against Gweshe when he was initially arrested on 12 June whereupon he was eventually asked to pay RTGS$500 fine for allegedly contravening curfew regulations & not the 2 new offences.
He was arrested before 10:PM, which was the scheduled curfew time when people were restricted from moving around unnecessarily.
Gweshe was arrested on 12 June & detained overnight at Marimba Police Station & was released on 13 June after paying RTGS$500 fine.
Through his lawyer Tinashe Chinox of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Gweshe on 17 June wrote a letter to Harare Provincial Magistrate protesting & arguing that he was arrested at 8:PM way before 10:PM, which was the scheduled curfew early in June.
The freelance journalist says he had refused to pay the fine after explaining his circumstances ZRP officers but he ended up paying the RTGS$500 fine under protest & desperation to regain his freedom & dignity which had been violated for several hours by ZRP officers who did not allow him access to food & water & to call his lawyers while in detention.
According to ZLHR, he was only allowed access to water around 3:PM on 13 June 2021.
Meanwhile, on 23 June, Harare Magistrate Barbra Mateko asked the I.O at Marimba Police Station to submit a report on what transpired when Gweshe was arrested.
Magistrate Mateko said judicial officers at Harare Magistrate Court are conducting investigations into his complaint for them to assess whether they can proceed in terms of section 356 of the CP&EA, which provides for setting aside of Gweshe’s conviction & to be refunded once a judicial officer is satisfied that Gweshe should not have been convicted.