THE seven MDC-T activists, who were arrested in Harare this week while demonstrating against the Zanu PF government’s alleged failure to end unemployment, yesterday filed an application for referral of their case to the Constitutional Court (ConCourt).
SENIOR COURT REPORTER
The activists, through their lawyer Obey Shava, argued before Harare provincial magistrate VakayiChikwekwe, that their arrest and detention over the demonstrations was a violation of their constitutional rights.
“The constitutional challenge will be premised upon the provisions of Section 59 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which provides for the right to freely demonstrate and petition,” Shava said.
Shava further said it was imperative for the provincial magistrate to refer the matter to the ConCourt for determination on the issues raised by his clients.
The seven – who include MP for Harare Metropolitan Ronia Bunjira (49), Danmore Tshuma (34), Keith Charumbira (24), Bridget Nyandoro (29), Stanley Manyenga (32), Stewart Gwebe (24) and Linnet Chibinya (30) – are being charged with obstructing people and traffic.
After informing the court of his intended ConCourt application, Shava proceeded to make a bail application for his clients after prosecutor Babra Ndoro applied for the activists to be remanded in custody.
He argued that the State had no compelling reasons to deny them bail.
The group was arrested on Monday, while staging a demonstration in Harare’s central business district demanding that government should honour its pre-election pledge to create employment.
The State further alleges that the demonstrators later stoned some police officers at the intersection of Jason Moyo Avenue and Julius Nyerere Way, leading to their arrest.
The application continues today.