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Political activists appear in court, granted bail

02 Aug, 2020 - 00:08 0 Views
Political activists appear in court, granted bail

The Sunday News

Harare Bureau
ELEVEN political activists, including MDC-Alliance spokesperson Fadzai Mahere, filmmaker and novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga and others from different pressure groups, yesterday appeared in court facing allegations of participating in Friday’s illegal demonstrations in Harare.
Mahere, Dangarembga, Paul Besa, Julie Gabriel Barnes, Chamunorwa Phillip Ndengu, Tinotenda Muskwe, Tinashe Murapata, Jessica Drury, Nyasha Musandu, Josee Lotter and Simon Drury appeared before Harare regional magistrate Mr Ngoni Nduna.

They were all separately charged with participating in a public gathering with intent to cause public violence and breaching the Public Health Act (Covid-19 Prevention, Containment and Treatment) Regulations 2020.

The accused were not asked to plead to the charges and were remanded to September 18, 2020 on $5 000 bail each. They were also ordered to surrender their passports and report once every Friday at their respective police stations. Through their defence lawyers, the activists said they have complaints against the police and indicated that they would file written submissions in respect of those complaints by August 4, 2020.

They also notified the State that they would challenge their placement on remand when they return to court on September 18.

The State led by Mr Michael Reza and Ms Tendai Shonhiwa had it that on July 31, the MDC-Alliance and other pressure groups organised an illegal demonstration aimed at effecting regime change.

The court heard that at different times and locations, but in Harare, the 11 took to the streets demonstrating against the Government.

MDC-Alliance spokesperson, Mahere, and six others were arrested between 11am and 11.30am while they were demonstrating between Alps Road and The Chase. Police are said to have recovered placards from Jessica Drury’s car inscribed #FreeZim, #FreeMDCtrio, #stopabductions and #handsoff the Constitution.

On the second count, they allegedly breached the Covid-19 regulations while they were marching.

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