Tarisai Machakaire 18 October 2017
HARARE – Four vendors who were arrested during Operation Restore Order
after looting 48 cellphones were denied bail when they appeared in court
David Mazibiye, 41, Tinashe Mbofana, 24, Maxwell Mushamba, 20, and Paul
Hanyani, 20, were charged with public violence when they appeared before
Harare magistrate Josephine Sande.
In her ruling, Sande castigated the quartet’s behaviour saying it
endangered the public’s safety.
“Bail is a constitutional right and the State is required to give
compelling reasons why an accused person must be denied bail. In this case
the presumption of innocence was torn apart because the accused persons
were found in possession of the stolen items,” Sande ruled.
“This is a country of law and the court cannot allow the accused persons
to create a chaotic situation in society. The accused persons were
actually apprehended by members of the public and not the police which
makes the State case even stronger.”
The investigating officer Stephen Gandidzanwa had opposed bail on the
basis that Mazibiye and his accomplices would commit further offences at
the incitement of their leader Sten Zvorwadza.
He said there was a possibility that the quartet would flee the
jurisdiction of the courts if released.
Gandidzanwa submitted that there was overwhelming evidence against the
four since they were apprehended at the crime scene.
Prosecutor Sabastian Mutizirwa alleged that on October 12 this year
Zimbabwe Republic Police and Harare City Council embarked on a joint
operation Restore Order targeted at removing illegal vendors and touts
The court heard that during the operation, Mazibiya and his accomplices –
who were armed with stones and sticks – emerged from Harvest House.
They allegedly randomly threw the stones at Joina City and Old Fantasy
Land, causing commotion as people ran in different directions for their
It was alleged that consequent to Mazibiye and his accomplices’ conduct, a
display window at Chicken Inn corner Innez Terrace and Speke Avenue was
The court heard that they went to TB George Cellular at corner Albion and
Chinhoyi Street and threw stones, damaging a display window of the shop
before looting 48 cellphones.
They reportedly ran away after the act.
Members of the public who witnessed the incidences chased after the
quartet and apprehended them.
After being arrested, Mbofana and Mushamba were found in possession of
stolen cellphones which were positively identified by their owners.
The quartet was escorted to Harare Central Police by members of the public
and handed over to the police.