ZLHR secures release of protest detainees on bail 

HARARE Magistrate Ngoni Nduna on Saturday 1 August 2020 granted bail to 13 residents of the capital city, who appeared before him facing various charges after they were arrested by some Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) members in different suburbs for allegedly taking part in anti-government demonstrations.

Source: ZLHR secures release of protest detainees on bail – The Zimbabwean

Magistrate Nduna granted RTGS$5 000 bail to renowned author and film
maker Tsitsi Dangarembga and Julie Gabriel Barnes and ordered them to
report at some ZRP stations once a week on Fridays, not to interfere
with state witnesses, continue residing at their given residential
addresses and surrender their passports until their matter is
finalised.

Dangarembga and Barnes, who were represented by Chris Mhike, Alec
Muchadehama and Paidamoyo Saurombe of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human
Rights (ZLHR) were charged with participating in a public gathering
with intention to promote public violence, breach of peace or bigotry
as defined in Section 37(1)(b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and
Reform) Act.

Prosecutors Michael Reza and Tendai Shonhayi alleged that Dangarembga
and Barnes participated in a demonstration in Borrowdale suburb while
holding some placards inscribed “Free Hopewell, free Jacob #Zimbabwe”,
“We want better reform our institution” and “Free our journalists”.

Dangarembga and Barnes were also charged with unnecessary movement
during the COVID-19 National Lockdown without any exemption with
prosecutors pressing a charge of contravening section 4(1)(a) of the
Public Health (COVID-19 Prevention, Containment and Treatment)
(National Lockdown) Order Statutory Instrument 77/2020.

Mhike, Muchadehama, Saurombe told Magistrate Nduna that they will file
some written submissions on complaints against some ZRP members
regarding the manner in which Dangarembga and Barnes were arrested,
challenge their placement on remand and also challenge the manner in
which the charge of unnecessary movement was surreptitiously put to
their clients. Dangarembga and Barnes return to court on 18 September
2020.

Magistrate Nduna also set free lawyer and opposition MDC-Alliance
party spokesperson Advocate Fadzayi Mahere together with six other
Harare residents namely Tinotenda Muskwe, Tinashe Murapata, Jessica
Drury, Nyasha Musandu, Josse Lotter and Simon Drury by granting each
of them RTGS$5 000 bail and ordering them to report at various ZRP
stations once a week on Fridays, not to interfere with state
witnesses, continue residing at their given residential addresses and
surrender their passports until their matter is finalised.

Mahere, Muskwe, Murapata, Jessica, Musandu, Lotter and Simon, who were
represented by Mhike, Muchadehama, Saurombe of ZLHR and Andrea Dracos
of Honey and Blanckenberg Legal Practitioners, were arrested on Friday
31 July 2020 by ZRP members and charged with participating in a public
gathering with intention to promote public violence, breach of peace
or bigotry as defined in Section 37(1)(b) of Criminal Law
(Codification and Reform) Act.

Mahere, Muskwe, Murapata, Jessica, Musandu, Lotter and Simon were also
charged with unnecessary movement during the COVID-19 National
Lockdown without any exemption with prosecutors pressing a charge of
contravening section 4(1)(a) of the Public Health (COVID-19
Prevention, Containment and Treatment) (National Lockdown) Order
Statutory Instrument 77/2020.

Reza and Shonhayi told Magistrate Nduna that Mahere, Muskwe, Murapata,
Jessica, Musandu, Lotter and Simon participated in an illegal
demonstration in Mt Pleasant suburb while holding some placards
written “Free Zim”, “#Free MDC Trio”, “#Stop abductions” and “#Hands
off Constitution”.

Mhike, Muchadehama, Saurombe and Dracos told Magistrate Nduna that
they will file some written submissions outlining their clients’
complaints against ZRP members and will also challenge the placement
on remand of their clients including the inclusion of the charge of
unnecessary movement of which no warned and cautioned statements were
recorded from the accused persons before they were hurriedly brought
to court.

Mahere, Muskwe, Murapata, Jessica, Musandu, Lotter and Simon will be
back in court on 18 September 2020.

Terrence Guta aged 26 years and Loveridge Chinzvende aged 32 years
were arrested on Friday 31 July 2020 along Sherwood road in Strathaven
suburb and charged with participating in a public gathering with
intention to promote public violence, breach of peace or bigotry as
defined in Section 37(1)(b) of Criminal Law (Codification and Reform)
Act.

Guta and Chinzvende, who were represented by Douglas Coltart of ZLHR,
were also charged with unnecessary movement during the COVID-19
National Lockdown without any exemption in what prosecutors said is
defined in section 4(1)(a) of the Public Health (COVID-19 Prevention,
Containment and Treatment) (National Lockdown) Order Statutory
Instrument 77/2020.

Reza and Shonhayi alleged that Guta and Chinzvende carried some
placards with messages which read; “No Corruption”, “Stop Abductions”,
“Free Zimbabwe” “Free Hope and Jacob” and “End Hunger”.

Guta and Chinzvende were granted RTGS$5 000 bail each by Magistrate
Nduna and ordered to report at some ZRP stations once a week on
Fridays, not to interfere with state witnesses, continue residing at
their given residential addresses and surrender passports in respect
of Guta.

Guta and Chinzvende return to court on 18 September 2020, where the
court will entertain hearing of complaints which the duo have against
ZRP members, who arrested and severely assaulted them while they were
detained in a bush. Coltart also intends to challenge the placement of
his clients on remand.

Paul Besa, a resident of Sunningdale suburb was also arrested on 31
July 2020 in Graniteside industrial area by some ZRP members who
claimed that he held some placards written “Respect our Constitution”,
“You can ignore or kill us but you will regret” and “Hope is our
hero”.

Besa was charged with incitement to commit public violence as defined
in section 36(1)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act
alternatively incitement to participate in a public gathering with
intention to promote public violence, breach of peace or bigotry as
defined in Section 37(1)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and
Reform) Act.

Besa, who was represented by Tapiwa Muchineripi of ZLHR, was also
charged with unnecessary movement during the COVID-19 National
Lockdown without any exemption in what prosecutors said was defined in
section 4(1)(a) of the Public Health (COVID-19 Prevention, Containment
and Treatment) (National Lockdown) Order Statutory Instrument 77/2020.

Like the other accused persons, Muchineripi told Magistrate Nduna that
he will file some written submissions detailing his client’s
complaints against ZRP members and will also challenge the placement
on remand of his client including the surreptitious inclusion of the
charge of unnecessary movement.

Another Harare resident Phillip Chamunorwa Ndengu of Glenview suburb
was also arrested on Friday 31 July 2020 by ZRP members who charged
him with incitement to commit public violence as defined in section
187(1) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act as read with
section 37(1)(a) of Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act
alternatively incitement to commit public violence as defined in
section 187(1)(a) as read with section 36(1)(a) of the Criminal Law
(Codification and Reform) Act.

Besa, who was represented by Ephraim Ndlovu of Mabundu and Ndlovu Law
Chambers, was also charged with unnecessary movement during the
COVID-19 National Lockdown without any exemption in what prosecutors
said is defined in section 4(1)(a) of the Public Health (COVID-19
Prevention, Containment and Treatment) (National Lockdown) Order
Statutory Instrument 77/2020.

Reza and Shonhayi alleged that Besa was seen by some police officers
on Friday 31 July 2020 at around 05:45 am while taking pictures in the
central business centre.

The prosecutors claimed that Besa insulted some police officers as
people who were letting down the majority of Zimbabweans by taking an
active role in barring demonstrations aimed at removing President
Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.

The police officers went on to seize Besa’s mobile phone handset and
proceeded to check some messages and found a self-recorded video where
he was saying “I am sick and tired of the government, it is torturing
people and it is not paying good salaries to its security forces”,
“tirikuda vanhu vane nzara nehasha to fight and effect regime change
in Zimbabwe”.

Reza and Shonhayi charged that after going through Besa’s mobile phone
handset, ZRP members also discovered that he is an active participant
in two WhatsApp groups titled “31 July Blood Demo” which has 255
participants and #31 July Mass Protest” with 244 members

The two groups, prosecutors alleged, were “awash” with audios,
messages and videos shared and used to incite people to participate in
the 31 July 2020 “illegal” demonstrations and commit public violence.
In Bulawayo, Panashe Vongai Sivindani was set free on Saturday 1
August 2020 on RTGS$2 000 bail after she appeared at Bulawayo
Magistrates Court answering to charges of incitement to commit public
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) Act.

In court, prosecutors alleged that the 22 year-old university student
intentionally displayed placards bearing the message; “#No to
corruption”, #Free Hopewell”, “#No to nepotism”, “#No commissioned law
enforcement and justice system” and “#We want accountability” while
inside TM Supermarket at Ascot Shopping Centre.

Prosecutors charged that they managed to identify Sivindani after
viewing video footage of a CCTV recording which they obtained from an
unnamed manager at TM Supermarket which showed the university student
displaying the alleged placards as she carried out her shopping.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 1
  • comment-avatar
    muchadura 10 months ago

    These idiots do not know the extent of danger they put their relatives in the diaspora.Placard waiving at home or abroad is a thing of the past.Let us see if those cousins of yours facing deportation right as i write this mail will be so lucky when they come home.Pasi nemhandu.