TWO Harare residents arrested last September for allegedly participating in an anti-government demonstration organised by the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) have been acquitted for lack of evidence.
Source: Anti-govt protesters acquitted – NewsDay Zimbabwe February 13, 2017
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Cosmas Chakona (27) and Itai Marowero (35) were freed on Friday after magistrate, Lazini Ncube acquitted them of participating “in a gathering to provoke public violence”.
Through his lawyer, Gift Mtisi, Chakona denied taking part in the demonstration, telling the court he was randomly picked up at Kuwadzana 4 shopping centre in Harare, while buying medication for his daughter.
Chakona said he was left bruised during skirmishes with the police and forced to throw away his child’s medicine.
Marowero also said he was arrested while on his was to Mashayabhande in Glen Norah for a pool clubs’ tournament.
Prosecutor, Nancy Chandakaona had told the court that on September 17 last year, the duo and their alleged accomplices, who are still at large, disrupted the flow of traffic in the high-density suburb, as they demanded for President Robert Mugabe to step down.
The State also claimed the protestors had placards and T-shirts written Mugabe must go, No reform no Elections and Bring back Itai Dzamara please.
Nera is a loose coalition of opposition parties demanding implementation of electoral reforms before they could participate in next year’s general elections.