The Sunday News
Peter Matika, Senior Reporter
BULAWAYO South Constituency losing independent candidate in last year’s harmonised elections Josphat “Mzaca” Ngulube, has been granted bail, in a case where he and 11 others were accused of fanning and taking part in the violence that rocked the country in January.
As a result of the violence, property worth millions of dollars was destroyed. High Court Judge Justice Nokuthula Moyo granted Ngulube (34) and three others, Esther Mbewe (53), Fortune Masuku (29) and Melusi Moyo (32) $100 bail on Friday.
The other seven are still in custody. They were granted bail, after filing, through their lawyers from Majoko and Majoko, an urgent chamber application to challenge a decision made in the lower courts to deny them bail. The collective is now set to appear in court on Tuesday for commencement of trial.
They are accused of burning three cars, destroying a precast wall and breaking several windows of a house belonging to Zanu-PF Bulawayo provincial women’s league chairperson, Cde Eva Bitu. The other accused are Lavenda Moyo (66), Thabisani Ngwenya (32), Otilia Sibanda (34), Angeline Mwemba (41), Minenhle Mahlangu (28), Mwale Chifufu (34) and Duduzile Amisi (39).
According to the State’s case as presented by Ms Grace Zhou, on 14 January at about 7am, the accused persons, acting in connivance with 100 others, unlawfully blocked free movement of traffic at an intersection along Sizinda Road and Nketa Drive.
They allegedly engaged in acts of violence. They went to Cde Bitu’s residence and threw stones and destroyed a precast wall to gain access to the yard.
They destroyed window panes before torching her three cars, a Ford Ranger, Nissan NP 300 and a Toyota Vitz.
“They also damaged roofing sheets and the complainant managed to escape unhurt together with her family,” said Ms Zhou.
The court heard that the accused persons proceeded to Tshabalala Housing Office and clinic where they allegedly stoned the buildings. After the 2018 elections, Ngulube announced that he had joined MDC-Alliance and posted his picture with MDC-A leader Mr Nelson Chamisa on social media.