‘Tajamuka’ member in the dock

Source: ‘Tajamuka’ member in the dock | The Herald  July 12, 2016

Fungai Lupande Court Reporter
The spokesperson for Tajamuka, a shadowy pressure group, and former MDC-T youth leader Promise Mkwananzi yesterday appeared in court for allegedly stoning Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko’s Choppies supermarket together with 20 others.

Magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe granted Mkwananzi (35) $300 bail.

As part of his bail conditions, he was ordered to report on Fridays at CID Law and Order, to reside at his given address and not to interfere with investigations.

The investigating officer Mr George Garauzive had opposed bail for Mkwananzi saying the Tajamuka group engaged in violent demonstrations.

“The group is currently campaigning for mass stayaway on social media and accusing VP Mphoko of stealing State funds to sustain his businesses,” he said.

“Accused is likely to influence crime of the same nature if released on bail. About 20 of his accomplices are still at large and his previous convictions are not yet ascertained.”

Mr Mahwe ruled that bail was a constitutional right which can only be denied if there were compelling reasons.

Prosecuting, Mr Sebastian Mutizirwa alleged that on June 16 this year around 9.30am, Mkwananzi and his accomplices told people in bank queues that there was no money in banks because VP Mphoko was a thief.

They alleged that the Vice President was stealing cash from banks to sustain his Choppies supermarkets and to pay hotel bills at Rainbow Towers in Harare.

The court heard that at around 11am Mkwananzi and his accomplices went to Choppies supermarket at No. 28 Nelson Mandela Avenue, Harare.

Clad in black and white T-shirts inscribed Tajamuka, the group started singing disparaging songs and shouted that, “Chishopu ichi ngachivharwe (this shop must be closed)”.

They allegedly stood at the entrance of the shop and started throwing stones and avocados into the supermarket.

Groceries fell from shelves and cash registers were damaged.

Property worth $1 000 was damaged.