Mliswa pays ZWL$195.000 bail for 39 former veterans of liberation struggle

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Court Reporter
HARARE – Outspoken Independent Norton legislator Temba Mliswa paid ZWL$195,000 to cover the bail for the 39 war veterans who were arrested for demonstrating over low pension payouts.
Tuesday morning police arrested the former veterans of liberation struggle in Harare CBD and detained them pending their court appearance.

Former veterans of the liberation struggle arrives at the Harare Magistrate Courts on Thursday for initial court appearance escorted by heavly armed police officers.
Appearing before Harare magistrate Barbara Mateko on Friday the elderly men and women were released on Z$5,000 bail each amid fears that many of them would still fail to pay as their allowance have been whittled down by the raging inflation.
Upon their release, Mliswa immediately offered to pay bail for each one of them saying their plight and circumstances had touched him.
“Good news that the 39 arrested War Veterans have been given bail and released. Much gratitude to the young team of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights for representing them so well… Justice must prevail.
“I just decided to pay for their bail. It was ZWL$5000 each for 39 of them. I felt it necessary to assist as most of them are pensioners. It would have been a burden for them. If they got in together, they should come out together. That’s the least I could do,” said Mliswa.
Mliswa, a former Zanu PF provincial chairperson for Mashonaland West, warned that the continued arrest of war veterans would hurt many in Government who identify with the war veterans’ grievances.
“One thing about War Vets, if you arrest one they all feel it. Even those high up in the echelons of power Generals, Ministers etc, they feel it. They might not say it but it’s there in their hearts. They see it that it’s unfair.
“The worst thing is that people are feeling hurt like that and you are working with them. That’s all I can say. You can’t do to them like that.”
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) who were representing the war veterans said the ex-combatants have been in police and prison custody since Tuesday. They were charged with participating in an illegal demonstration with the intent to promote public violence.
The lawyers said their clients were arrested for allegedly singing “Chimurenga songs” during a protest where they intended to hand over a petition to the Parliament of Zimbabwe and to President Mnangagwa’s office detailing their grievances.
War Veterans disembark from a prison van on Friday morning.
The lawyers proceeded to file a bail application seeking the release of the war veterans after Magistrate Mateko dismissed their two applications filed Thursday for the war veterans’ immediate release.
“We had argued that they were arbitrary and illegally arrested and overdetained,” the lawyers said, adding that their clients had been detained for over 48 hours and had not been informed of the charges when they were rounded up at around 10am Tuesday.


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