By NQOBANI NDLOVU
BULAWAYO High Court judge Justice Evangelista Kabasa on Wednesday granted bail to nine Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) activists who had spent several weeks at Khami Remand Prison facing public violence charges.
The nine activists were arrested in early March after they stormed Bulawayo Central Police Station protesting the alleged intimidation and harassment of their leader, Mqondisi Moyo, by armed State security agents.
Lawyers representing the activists approached the High Court after several unsuccessful attempts to secure their release at the lower courts.
“They have been freed on bail,” Nqobani Sithole, their lawyer from the Abammeli Human Rights Lawyers, said.
“Eight of the accused were freed on $10 000 bail each, while one was ordered to pay $20 000 for a previous conviction.”
The activists include MRP national league chairperson Sibongile Banda, Busi Moyo, council of elders representative Tinos Nkomo, MRP youth chairperson Mongameli Mlotshwa, Livson Ncube, Maxwell Nkosi, Welcome Moyo, Nkosilathi Ncube and Ackim Ndebele.
In March, the activists stormed Bulawayo Central Police Station protesting the alleged harassment of their leader, Moyo.
This was after armed State security agents reportedly stormed Moyo’s house with the intention to arrest him following a confrontation with the police in Ntabazinduna over a land
The activists had clashed with police after the latter descended at Tabas Induna Farm in Ntabazinduna, where they evicted former Vice-President Kembo Mohadi’s son-in-law Floyd Ambrose from the property, accusing him of grabbing it from a white farmer, Brian
After the incident, police visited Moyo at his house at night and attracted protests from MRP activists, who went on to stage a mini-demonstration outside Bulawayo Central Police Station.
Police had to fire warning shots to disperse the protesters before arresting the nine, who were part of a group that was threatening to storm the police building.