Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) President and Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Spokesperson, Obert Masaraure, today June 16, 2022 appeared at the Harare Magistrates Court charged with Murder as defined in Section 47 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.
It is the State’s case that on June 1, 2016 Masaraure and his colleagues, whom the State claims are still at large, had a misunderstanding with the late ARTUZ member, Roy Issa after which they assaulted him on the head with “unknown weapons” along Park Street in Harare.
The State further claimed that Issa died as a result of the injuries and Masaraure and his colleagues misrepresented that he had jumped from the 7th Floor of Jameson Hotel.
The state claims that a post mortem revealed that the cause of Issa’s death was brain damage, compound skull fracture and head trauma.
The state opposed bail on the grounds that Masaraure was a flight risk as he is facing a “serious offence” and is also likely to influence his other colleagues who are still at large to flee.
Masaraure was remanded to June 20, 2022.
Crisis Coalition position
The murder charge against Obert Masaraure is a clear case of political persecution by the State.
After the death of Issa in 2016, an inquest was done and the Magistrates Court ruled out foul play and the then Police Spokesperson, Charity Charamba also confirmed the findings of the Court.
It is shocking that the police would go-ahead to arrest Masaraure over the same case 6 years down the line. The arrest of Masaraure is a calculated attempt by the state to silence all critics of ZANU PF’s misrule and misgovernance and equally a deliberate ploy to persecute human rights activists and civil society activists ahead of the 2023 elections.
We take note of the continued weaponization of the law and abuse of the criminal justice system by the ruling ZANU PF party using the police and the courts.
We wish to bring it to the attention of the nation that in the previous weeks, the State has been making spirited moves to bribe witnesses in a bid to come up with incriminating evidence against Masaraure and this is also part of efforts to deflate the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition.
Masaraure has been outspoken against human rights violations in Zimbabwe and as has become the norm, the state has resorted to terror and weaponization of the law in a bid to punish and silence him.
We implore the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to conduct themselves in a professional manner and desist from pursuing partisan political interests.
Masaraure is a victim of state-sponsored terror and must be freed unconditionally.