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Human Rights lawyer arrested for demanding search warrant

by Staff reporter
17 Mar 2013 at 16:36hrs | Views
Human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa was arrested this morning after asking the police to produce a search warrant after they pounced at the home of a senior official in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's private offices in Harare.

Impeccable sources told NewsDay that the police raided Thabani Mpofu's home and rummaged through it before confiscating laptops and cellphones, among others. The police did not state the reason they searched Mpofu's home.

During the search, the sources said, Tsvangirai's chief advisor Alex Magaisa alerted Mtetwa who was then taken to Mpofu's home to represent him.

Mtetwa, the sources said, demanded a search warrant from the police who failed to produce it. She also demanded to see an inventory of the property the police had confiscated. Again the police could not produce the inventory.

One of the police officers, the sources said, then accused Mtetwa of recording and shooting pictures of her conversation with the members of the uniformed forces using her cellphone.

The sources said the officer leading the search, identified only as Mukwazhi, demanded the phone from Mtetwa who had placed it in her bag. A scuffle ensued, the sources added, resulting in the police wrestling the bag from Mtetwa.

Mukwazhi, the sources said, then charged Mtetwa of obstructing the course of justice. She was then thrown at the back of a police van and taken to Tsvangirai's private communications and information offices in Bath Road, Avondale. Mpofu was also taken to the offices in a separate vehicle.

The offices had earlier on been raided by the police.

Mtetwa was later taken to Harare Central Police Station where she was formally charged with obstructing the course of justice.

The sources said Mtetwa accused Mukwazhi of obstructing her from representing her client. She is still in police custody.

Besides Mpofu, the police also arrested Anna Muzvidziwa and Felix Matsinde, who also work in Tsvangirai's communications offices in Avondale over unclear reasons.

The whereabouts of Muzvidziwa and Matsinde are not known although it is certain they are in police custody.

Their lawyer Alec Muchadehama said he will give an update on his clients' status later on today.

The police said they will call for a press conference on the raid later today.

Source - newsday

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