Speaking to me today by telephone after spending a cold
night in a 13-by-13-foot cell with eight other prisoners at Braeside police
station, Muchadehama said he was well. "My spirits are very high because I know
that I didn't do anything wrong," he said, adding that his arrest was
consistent with a pattern of government intimidation against human rights
Muchadehama recounted his ordeal, which began as he was
walking to his car from Zimbabwe's
High Court on Thursday. He had gone to court to obtain a copy of the bail order
in the Manyere case that day, but two police officers accosted him outside the
building. The officers presented no warrant, according to Muchadehama, but told
him he was under arrest for allegedly "conniving" with a court clerk to obtain
a favorable ruling in the journalist's case.
Muchadehama categorically denies any improper contact with
the clerk in question, Constance
, who was thrown in prison with her nine-month-old daughter on
criminal charges of "abuse of office."
an "open season for people in legal profession." She called the month of May "a
red month for the legal profession" in Zimbabwe. She was was detained and assaulted by police in May 2007, while
fellow lawyer Harrison
Nkomo was thrown
into prison in May 2008. Muchadehama recalled spending three days in police
custody in May 2006 in connection with a case involving members of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change.