Zim court exonerates Kuvheya over war claims

CHITUNGWIZA Magistrate Gladys Moyo on Wednesday 24 November 2021 set free Chitungwiza Residents Trust (CHITREST) Director Alice Kuvheya after ruling that the charges she faced of inciting some residents to commit public violence were defective.

Source: Zim court exonerates Kuvheya over war claims – The Zimbabwean

Kuvheya was arrested by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) on 14 June 2021
and charged with incitement to commit violence as defined in section
187(1)(a)(b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act as read
with section 36(1)(a)(b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform)

The other charge which had been preferred upon the arrest of incitement to
participate in a gathering with intent to promote public violence as
defined in section 187 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform)
Act as read with section 37(1)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification
and Reform) Act was dropped in June 2021 after Magistrate Isheanesu
Matova who removed her from remand after ruling that the statement she
allegedly made had no effect of inviting anyone to gather for the
purpose of committing an offence.

In court, prosecutors claimed that Kuvheya, who was represented by
Freddy Masarirevhu of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR),
communicated, persuaded and induced people to wage war between
authorities at Chitungwiza Municipality and some Chitungwiza residents
and some informal traders.

The prosecutors charged that Kuvheya recorded a video which she shared
on social media platforms in a bid to incite residents and informal
traders to resist a government backed exercise to demolish trading and
vending stalls and structures.

Kuvheya’s alleged actions, prosecutors argued, would result in public
disturbances and disorder.

Her lawyer on 11 November 2021 filed an application excepting to the
charges preferred against her arguing that they are defective in the
sense that the alleged offensive statements attributed to the CHITREST
Director do not constitute a criminal offence.

In a ruling handed down on Wednesday 24 November 2021, Magistrate Moyo
removed Kuvheya from remand after granting her application for
exception to the charges and ruled that the charges lacked some
particularities such that the offending part of a video which she
allegedly recorded and circulated inciting people to wage war against
authorities at Chitungwiza Municipality were not indicated.

Kuvheya’s arrest in June came soon after she together with CHITREST
and Harare Residents Trust and represented by Rudo Bere of ZLHR,
obtained a High Court order granted by Justice Edith Mushore on 10
June 2021, stopping local and central government from carrying out
unprocedural demolitions of homes, perimeter walls and informal
traders’ structures as the exercise was not in compliance with the law
in particular section 32 of the Regional Town and Country Planning Act
and section 3 of the Administrative Justice Act.