Zimbabwe Court Orders Lawer Release, Nobody Listens
Further symptoms emerge of a divorce between the Presidency of Zimbabwe and the rest of the government, as two anti-Mugabe lawyers were arrested, remaining in custody despite a court order for their release.
A Zimbabwean court has ordered the release of two opposition lawyers arrested in the capital last week after challenging a ministerial certificate, defence lawyers said on Sunday.
The lawyers, Alec Muchadehama and partner Andrew Makoni, were arrested late on Friday after challenging the certificate issued by Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi barring the courts from granting bail to their clients.
"Justice [Tedias] Karwi ordered that they be released as he said their arrest was unlawful," advocate Eric Matinenga told Agence France-Presse.
The lawyers were representing a member of Parliament for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and 12 other activists accused of petrol bombing government properties and other privately owned businesses.
Mohadi had issued the certificate saying the 13 activists should remain in prison as they had gone to South Africa for military training in South Africa and police were still investigating the case.
However, Muchadehama and Makoni said in court papers the ministerial certificate had been irregularly issued.
"The certificate produced by the minister is senseless, unlawful and ineffectual," the lawyers said.
Lawrence Chibwe, secretary for the Law Society of Zimbabwe, said the court order was issued late on Saturday, but the two lawyers were still detained.
"By last night the two lawyers were still in jail," Chibwe said.