via ZLHR Press Statement: ZIM LEGAL PROFESSION UNDER SIEGE May 8, 2014
ZIMBABWEAN authorities on Thursday 08 May 2014 launched a fresh assault on the legal profession after the police charged Trust Maanda, a respected human rights lawyer, for defeating or obstructing the course of justice.
Maanda, a senior partner with Maunga, Maanda and Associates Legal Practitioners is alleged to have incited his clients who are former employees of Mbada Diamond mining company to institute litigation in which they disowned certain statements given to the police and suing the police for recovery of some vehicles impounded from them by the police and seeking compensation for inhuman and degrading treatment at the hands of the police.
Maanda, a former board member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) reported at the Criminal Investigations Department’s Vehicle Theft Squad Section at Harare’s Southerton Police Station in the company of his lawyers Andrew Makoni, Blessing Nyamaropa and Jeremiah Bamu of ZLHR, where he was charged with defeating or obstructing the course of justice in contravention of Section 184 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
In his warned and cautioned statement, Maanda argued that the charges brought against him were designed to defeat the course of justice and were an affront to the independence and integrity of the legal profession.
The crusading human rights lawyer was released after spending an agonising four hours at Southerton Police Station, where the police officers indicated that they will proceed by way of summons if they require him to appear in court at any time.
Maanda becomes the second human rights lawyer to be targeted by in less than two years after the police preferred the same charges against ZLHR Board Chairperson Beatrice Mtetwa in March last year.
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