Former Highfield MDC MP Munyaradzi Gwisai and five other International Socialist Organisation (ISO) members were yesterday convicted of conspiracy to commit public violence and are today expected to submit their mitigation, followed by sentencing.
Despite being convicted of a crime which carries a sentence of up to 10 years in jail, Gwisai, with a fist in the air, shouted “aluta continua (the struggle continues)” as he walked out of the court building.
He was jointly charged with Antonette Choto, Tatenda Mombeyarara, Edson Chakuma, Hopewell Gumbo and Welcome Zimuto.
The activists were remanded out of custody after their lawyer, Aleck Muchadehama, made an application for time to prepare mitigation.
In his judgment, provincial magistrate Kudakwashe Jarabini said the meeting organised by the ISO activists on February 19 last year had ill-
Jarabini further said the showing of videos of Egyptian and Tunisian uprisings on the day in question was meant to arouse emotions which would result in people acting violently to force the removal of the inclusive government.
“It is not disputed the accused watched
the videos during the meeting showing the events in North Africa, but the manner in which it was done was not with good intentions,” Jarabini said.
“The intention of the accused when they showed the said videos must not be underestimated.”
The magistrate said he was convinced the State’s star witness, Jonathan Shoko, attended the meeting and this had led to the foiling of the attempt by the ISO members to mobilise Zimbabweans to revolt against President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
“From the evidence on record, the State’s evidence is credible and having said that, the court finds conspiracy to commit a crime has been satisfied and the State managed to prove a case against the accused,” ruled Jarabini.
Meanwhile, the Attorney-General’s Office yesterday withdrew charges against Magunje Zanu PF MP Franco Ndambakuwa who was arrested on allegations of abusing the Constituency Development Fund allocation.
Prosecutor David Magwegwe told Harare
magistrate Anita Tshuma he had instructions from his superiors to withdraw the charges against the MP.