Four Bulawayo residents who were arrested last month for allegedly engaging in violent activities during a nationwide mass stayaway organised by #ThisFlag leader Evan Mawarire, have been acquitted for lack of evidence.
Source: Arrested Bulawayo residents acquitted – NewsDay Zimbabwe August 4, 2016
BY SILAS NKALA
Mthokozisi Ncube (25), Alfred Dzirutwe, (35), Robson Tera, (39) and Thembelihle Sibanda (36), were yesterday freed by magistrate Tawanda Muchemwa who ruled that the State had failed to link them to the alleged crime.
This follows an application by their lawyers Lison Ncube, Tanaka Muganyi and Lizwe Jamela, who argued that the prosecution failed during trial to prove essential elements of the offence.
The State had claimed that the four unemployed residents interfered with the ordinary comfort, convenience, peace or quiet of the public and created a nuisance or obstruction when they allegedly gathered in central Bulawayo on July 6, as part of anti-government demonstration.
Meanwhile, Bulawayo magistrate Sheunesu Matova has ordered that Lupane residents should go ahead with their planned community meetings, which had been banned by police over security concerns.
The meeting, organised by the Rural Communities Empowerment Trust (RCET), had initially been scheduled for yesterday.
Police in Matabeleland North province had refused to sanction the meeting citing security fears.
Through their lawyers, Lizwe Jamela and Nosimilo Chanayiwa, RCET argued that they were exempted from notifying police about the holding of their meetings as they were apolitical.
The meeting was meant to educate community members on their socio-economic rights as enshrined in the new Constitution.