The 39 war veterans who were arrested for demonstrating over low pension payouts on Tuesday have been released on Z$5 000 bail each by a Harare magistrate.
They are being accused of participating in an illegal demonstration with the intent to promote public violence.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) who were representing the veterans of the 1970s war said the ex-combatants have been in police and prison custody since Tuesday.
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.
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. Added the lawyers:
We had argued that they were arbitrary and illegally arrested and overdetained.
The lawyers said their clients had been detained for over 48 hours and had not been informed of the charges when they were rounded up at around 10 AM on Tuesday.
Magistrate Mateko this afternoon released Zimbabwe’s former freedom fighters.
The lawyers confirmed the release adding that the ex-combatants were ordered to report to the police once every week.