The trial of 13 MDC-T activists arrested for attending an alleged illegal workshop in Beitbridge last month, failed to take off yesterday because the presiding magistrate Auxilia Chiwumburu did not attend court.
The matter was postponed to May 14.
The activists — who include Beitbridge deputy mayor Patricia Ndlovu, Kimberly Bhebhe, Gibson Ndou, Maphios Macheka, Allen Mabeza, Islam Madhosi, David Mkwananzi, Farai Chimbavha, Rhodes Nleya, Grace Runesu, Wellington Chidzingwa, Phillimon Kwinika and Win Mutasa — were not asked to plead to the charges when they first appeared in court in February. The MDC-T activists are out on $50 bail each.
The State alleges sometime in February, police in Beitbridge wrote to MDC-T activist Elliot Mabeza advising him to reschedule their meeting because Zanu PF was holding a rally in the border town on the same date.
This was after the same senior police officer had written to Zanu PF’s Beitbridge District coordinator, a C Kunaka, approving their rally.
MDC–T officials defied the police order and on February 25 went ahead with the meeting, leading to their arrest.
Lizwe Jamela is representing the activists.