Tarisai Machakaire 4 March 2017
HARARE – National Vendors Union of Zimbabwe (Navuz) chairperson Sten
Zvorwadza and 13 of his members – charged following demonstrations against
alleged municipal police corruption – were back in court yesterday
anticipating a ruling on their application for referral of the matter to
the Constitutional Court (Con-Court).
The ruling was deferred to March 20 because the State had not filed its
Zvorwadza and his alleged accomplices were represented by Jeremiah Bamu
and Dorcas Chitiyo when they appeared before Harare magistrate Nomsa
They are being charged with disorderly conduct in a public place.
Bamu and Chitiyo are challenging the constitutionality of the section
under which the vendors are being charged.
They argue that “all their actions in this matter are constitutionally
protected within sections 58, 59, 60 and 61 of the Constitution which
guarantees freedom of assembly, association and conscience”.
Prosecutor Desire Chidanire alleged that on July 16 last year, Zvorwadza
was in the company of a group of vendors when they decided to demonstrate
against alleged corrupt tendencies by municipal police.
The vendors were bitter that municipal cops looted their wares and shared
them between themselves, and, in some instances, would demand bribes to
release the goods.
It was alleged Zvorwadza and his members gathered at Town House in Harare
holding placards that read: “Stop harassing women and children “Stop
confiscation of our goods” and “Zvemadhisinyongoro hatichada”.
The court heard that they were dispersed by police officers.
However, the court heard when the vendors realised that police officers
had left the scene they reportedly regrouped and returned to Town House
led by Zvorwadza.
They reportedly demanded to see the town clerk or mayor and approached
security personnel at the entrance.
Police officers returned to the scene and advised the group to leave but
the vendors reportedly held their hands together tightly and police had a
hard time arresting them.