Human rights official set free

via Human rights official set free – DailyNews Live by Tarisai Machakaire  23 NOVEMBER 2013

Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum executive director Abel Chikomo is now a free man, after the court yesterday ruled that the State had failed to prove a prima facie case against him.

Chikomo was being accused of running an “unregistered” organisation.

However, Harare magistrate Elijah Makomo said there was no need for the matter to be referred to defence because the State had failed to prove its case.

Chikomo, who was represented by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights board member, Selby Hwacha, was arrested in 2011 on charges of contravening Section 6 (3) of the Private Voluntary Organisation (PVO) Act (Chapter 17:15).

It took more than two years for him to be tried. Prosecutors alleged that his organisation conducted some activities without being registered with the Social Welfare Department under the PVO Act.

The charge, which Chikomo denied, came after the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum conducted a survey on transitional justice in Harare’s Highfield suburb.

Prosecutors claimed that the survey was illegal since the organisation was not registered as a PVO.

The State claimed Chikomo had unlawfully instructed two of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum’s employees to commence or carry out a survey in Harare’s Highfield suburb, with the intention to obtain people’s recommendations on the preferred transitional justice mechanism for Zimbabwe, without his organisation registering with the Social Welfare Department under the PVO Act.

However, in his defence, Chikomo argued that he was wrongly charged and that the Forum was not a private voluntary organisation which required registration under the PVO Act.

Through his lawyer, he argued that Section 2 of the PVO Act exempts “anybody or association of persons, corporate or unincorporated the benefits from which are exclusively for its own members.

 

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 6
  • comment-avatar
    ZimJim 8 years ago

    Prosecute people trying to promote human rights…

    Nice one Zimbobwe.!

    I bet Mugabe will be squealing for HIS rights if he lives long enough to face justice! 😉

    Bob, The Hague awaits you.

    As does Hell…..

  • comment-avatar
    Tjingababili 8 years ago

    THEY ALL DO, THESE BLOODY DICTATORS WHEN THEIR TIME IS UP!

  • comment-avatar
    Nyoni 8 years ago

    Smith did the same!

  • comment-avatar
    Sekuru Mapenga 8 years ago

    Let us see if Tomana will appeal! it is his job to mis-use the law to persecute the truth speakers.

  • comment-avatar
    munzwa 8 years ago

    My guess is that this guy was’nt paying his protection money to some head honcho!!I believe there is quite a big NGO paying as much as 20 000 k to these mafio guys to remain operating in this country, something like supporting a non existent orphanage or such like, no receipts allowed to be issued!!!

  • comment-avatar

    Its now part of zim police to arrest for the sake of discouraging one to defend human rights. Its an organised strategy of intimidation