Kirchliche Arbeitsstelle Südliches Afrika

Okay Machisa wieder auf freiem Fuß

Der Direktor der simbabwischen Menschenrechtsorganisation ZimRights, Okay Machisa, der am 14. Januar inhaftiert worden war und dessen Freilassung die KASA seitdem gemeinsam u.a. mit amnesty international forderte, befindet sich seit gestern endlich wieder auf freiem Fuß.

Machisa zeigte sich in einer ersten Stellungsnahme nach seiner gegen Kaution erfolgten Freilassung aus der Untersuchungshaft alles andere als eingeschüchtert: "Ich bin keineswegs abgeschreckt, ganz im Gegenteil fühle ich mich motiviert und ermutigt, da ich weiß, dass ich wegen meines Einsatzes für ein ehrenwertes Anliegen verfolgt werde." Im Einsatz für die Menschenrechte, führte Machisa weiter aus, sei es in Simbabwe derzeit so gut wie gar nicht vermeidbar, verhaftet zu werden.

Im Folgenden die Pressemeldung von ZimRights anlässlich der Freilassung im Wortlaut:

„With the nature of our work (human rights) in Zimbabwe, it is almost impossible to avoid incarcerations. As for me, I feel encouraged and these are some of the experiences that should actually make us stronger. I am not deterred, in fact, I am motivated and I know I am persecuted for a genuine cause (promotion and protection of human rights in Zimbabwe)”, these were some of Okay Machisa (pictured right), the ZimRights Director’s words after his release from remand prison where a number of relatives and colleagues waited for him after being granted bail in the morning.

Mr Machisa was speaking of his fortnight experiences in remand prison as well as his take on getting arrested over allegations that even the High Court judge Justice Felistas Chatukuta acknowledged, “lacked evidence that connects him to the commission of the crime”.

The human rights activist had a joyous reunion with his family after his incarceration on charges of forgery, conspiracy to commit fraud, and publishing statements that are prejudicial to the State, a charge his lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa has dismissed.

He however, attended a Magistrates Court session today for routine remand following a made on the 16th January when he was denied bail before the same court. In the 16th January hearing, the magistrate court remanded him in custody to the 30th January. Machisa was today, remanded to the 20th of February 2013.

Meanwhile, Leo Chamahwinya, the education and Programmes Manager who was remanded in custody to the 4th February has launched a fresh bail application with Magistrate Court. However, it could not be heard today as the state prosecutor Mr Reza requested for time to put his papers in order. It has been postponed to tomorrow.

Machisa and Chamahwinya are accused of attempting to defraud the Registrar General’s Office by forging and manufacturing counterfeit copies of certificates of voter registration. Another alleged accomplice, Ms Dorcas Shereni, the ZimRights chairperson for Highfield local chapter is also in remand and is due to appear in court on 4 February.”