SADC Lawyers Association (SADC-LA) has condemned the brutal assault of Zimbabwe lawyer Kudzai Kadzere by police officers on Saturday, 14 January.

This is the hand after surgery of Zimbabwean lawyer Kudzai Kadzere who was brutally beaten up by Zimbabwean police after he had responded to a call for legal representation by opposition members who were arrested on Saturday. He was also arrested a day later after the beating
1. SADC-LA deeply regrets and strongly condemns the attack on lawyer Mr Kudzai Kadzere in Harare, Zimbabwe by members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) on the 14th of January 2023.

2. On the said date, Mr Kadzere was representing his clients who are members of a political party in Zimbabwe and he was acting within the scope of his mandate as a licenced legal practitioner of the courts of Zimbabwe. The right to legal representation is guaranteed in the constitution of Zimbabwe.

3. The perpetration of violence by police on an unarmed civilian acting in a professional capacity to uphold the constitutional rights of other citizens presents the highest level of disregard for the rule of law.

4. SADC-LA implores the Government of Zimbabwe and the responsible Ministers to swiftly ensure the protection of lawyers and other key stakeholders such as journalists in the discharge of their mandate. Further, to hold to account those responsible for the unsanctioned violation of Mr Kadzere and his clients’ constitutionally enshrined rights.

5. The acute escalation of violence in a period shortly preceding a crucial election for Zimbabwe warrants deep concern. SADC-LA calls on SADC and the AU to provide swift and adequate support to the Government of Zimbabwe, and relevant stakeholders to ensure a neutral environment for the enforcement and enjoyment of all human rights.

6. This is in accordance with the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG), the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers as well as Zimbabwe’s own constitution.