Zimbabwe: further harassment

Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri.
Chihuri was once convicted of corruption,
though this was overturned on appeal.
Two letters of complaint by Bishop Chad Gandiya have been published in the Zimbabwean press. Both are addressed to the Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri about the way the Church has been treated by the police.

In The Zimbabwean the bishop details:
  • Our joint retreat with clergy from the Diocese of Manicaland from the 2nd - 6th January 2012 at Peterhouse was stopped by the police who told us to disperse because we did not have police clearance to hold the retreat (The laws of the land do not require us to seek police clearance to gather for worship) 
  • Today the 13th January 2012, clergy wives of our diocese were due to start their retreat at the Jamaica Inn not far from Harare along the Mutare Road. They have been informed this morning by the lady running the Centre that they can no longer have their retreat there.She claims that she was visited by members of the CIO last night who instructed her to cancel our women's booking.
The Association of Zimbabwean Journalists have posted a different letter:
  • 17th December 2011 at St. Bernard’s School in Nyatsambo Village, Mhondoro. I had gone there for a Confirmation Service. The local police had been informed about this Church Service even though it is not a requirement that we do this. Over three hundred people turned up for the Church Service and we confirmed 116 people. After the service two local policemen based at Mamina approached me and asked me, the local priest and our Church Wardens to go to Mamina Police Station because their “boss” wanted to ask some questions about our Service.
On this occasion Bishop Gandiya, his wife and the local churchwardens were kept by the police most of the day, though not arrested. 

He concludes:
The Zimbabwean Constitution allows for freedom of religion. Why are we being harassed like this? Are we second class citizens in the land of our birth? Like any other citizen of this country we expect equal protection by the law enforcement agents of our Republic.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous17/1/12

    The first Guardian article isn't by Andrew Brown but by Sam Jones.