Gwisai’s appeal postponed

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International Socialist Organisation (ISO) co-ordinator Munyaradzi Gwisai’s appeals against a Magistrate Court’s conviction and sentence on conspiring to commit public violence charges was on Thursday this week postponed to next Thursday after the State indicated it had diarised a wrong date for the matter.

BY CHARLES LAITON

Judges of appeal, Justices George Chiweshe and Charles Hungwe granted the postponement after Gwisai’s lawyer Hopewell Chitima and prosecutor Editor Mavuto agreed to have the matter postponed.

Last year the Prosecutor-General’s (PG) Office’s attempt to have the sentence imposed by the Magistrates’ Court extended hit a snag after Justice Hungwe dismissed the State’s appeal for lack of merit.

The University of Zimbabwe law lecturer, together with his five co-accused persons — Antoinette Choto, Tatenda Mombeyarara, Edson Chakuma, Hopewell Gumbo and Welcome Zimuto — were convicted on charges of conspiracy to commit public violence two years ago after being arrested while watching news videos of the Arab Spring uprisings.

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Harare Magistrate, the late Kudakwashe Jarabini, ordered the six to pay a $500 fine each and in addition slapped each of them with a 24-month jail term, of which 12 months were suspended on condition of good behaviour.

The remaining 12 months were set aside on condition that each of the activists would perform 420 hours of community service.
After the sentencing, the activists appealed to the High Court, leading to the current pending matter.

But aggrieved by the sentence, the State also filed a counter-appeal application against Jarabini’s sentence arguing it was “too lenient”, which appeal was thrown away by the High Court.

In dismissing the State’s leave to appeal, Justice Hungwe said the application was not timeously made as stipulated by the law.
He further said the PG’s grounds of appeal failed to encompass matters set out under the Magistrates’ Court Act.

Gwisai and his co-accused persons were arrested in February 2011 together with 44 other social and human rights activists, but the other 39 were later released for lack of evidence.

The State claimed then that the activists were plotting to destabilise the government after they watched video footages of uprisings in North Africa that saw the deposition of long-serving rulers.

2 COMMENTS

  1. The forgotten heroes and victims of Mugabe regime, some of us still remember you brothers , and hope that one day you will be free and contribute freely to liberating Zimbabwe form the hands of the despot

  2. just as Juan said I’m alarmed that any body able to get paid $4456 in four weeks on the internet

    ———————- ◐◐◐◐◐◐◐◐◐◐ w­­w­­w­.n­e­­t­c­a­s­­h­­5­.­c­o­­m

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