Chingwizi villagers seek to quash jail term

Source: Chingwizi villagers seek to quash jail term – DailyNews Live

Tendai Kamhungira      24 May 2017

HARARE – Four Chingwizi villagers who were jailed five years each for
burning police cars during a 2015 protest have approached the High Court
seeking to have the jail term quashed.

The quartet – Mike Mudyanembwa, Patrick Chinounda Changwesha, Samuel
Mubaiwa and Nyengeterai Tagwirei – argue that the magistrate erred in
finding them guilty.

They were convicted by Chiredzi magistrate Honest Musiiwa in January 2015.

Their lawyer Sharon Hofisi from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
yesterday told the Daily News that the case has been postponed to June 6
to allow them to avail enough records for the prosecution of the appeal.

High Court judges Charles Hungwe and Edith Mushore are handling the

The four, who were residents at Chingwizi Transit Camp in Mwenezi, were
convicted on public violence charges.

They were jointly charged with 26 others who were acquitted at the close
of the State case due to lack of incriminating evidence.

The lawyers are now seeking the High Court to set aside their conviction
and sentence.

The villagers were accused of masterminding the assault of police officers
and the burning of Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) motor vehicles and
rifles. According to court papers, the villagers were arrested after they
protested against the forced relocation of a clinic from Chingwizi Transit
Camp to Nuanetsi Ranch, where thousands of flood victims had been forcibly
moved to.

In their appeal, the Chingwizi villagers argued that the magistrate did
not consider other forms of punishment applicable in the circumstances,
adding that he was clearly under the belief that he was compelled to
impose the maximum sentence of a jail term.

During their initial remand, the villagers claimed they were tortured and
subjected to cruelty, degrading and inhuman treatment at the hands of
Zimbabwe Republic Police members while in custody, in a move that
attracted local, regional and international condemnation.