CASE ALERT: Never Tshuma appears in court
Dinde community leader, Never Tshuma who was arrested on 15 April 2021 on allegations of inciting public violence after Katambe community members stormed Beifa Investment’s coal exploration site, is appearing in court today. Never Tshuma is facing two counts of contravening section 187 as read with section 36 (1) of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act Chapter 09:23. He was remanded out of custody on ZWL$10 000.
The Dinde community is sternly opposed to the coal exploration project and insists that they were not involved ‘in the formulation and implementation of development plans that affect them’ as provided for in Section 13 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. For defending his land rights, Never Tshuma was banished by the court from setting foot in his rural home until the matter has been resolved. His continued placement on remand and failure to take the matter to trial denies him access to his family and also infringes on his freedom of movement and also cultural rights.
The Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG) calls on the state to drop the charges against Never Tshuma and engage the community on substantive matters being raised. Criminalising the community’s demand for free prior and informed consent contradicts what Zimbabwe ratified on the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights. It also goes against the letter and spirit of the 2013 Constitution of Zimbabwe, particularly Section 66 (2) which states that every Zimbabwean citizen has the right to move freely within Zimbabwe and reside in any part of the country.