National Vendors’ Union of Zimbabwe (Navuz) chairman Sten Zvorwadza, director Samuel Wadzanai and 14 other vendors were yesterday arraigned before Harare magistrate Tendai Mahwe on charges of public violence.
The 16 were arrested at Town House on Tuesday after vendors tried to block municipal police from ferrying illegal vendors and confiscating their wares.
They are being represented by Jeremiah Bamu of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights. State prosecutor Idah Maromo opposed granting bail to the accused, arguing they were ring leaders and could mobilise their accomplices still at large and other vendors to disturb the exercise to move hawkers from illegal sites.
However, Bamu argued that the accused were proper candidates for bail, adding the Constitution now recognises the rights of those under arrest.
It is the State’s case that the accused persons, who are vendors, had a battle with municipal police during the ongoing exercise of removing vendors from the streets on Tuesday.
The State alleges that the vendors reacted aggressively and started attacking law enforcement agents, prompting authorities to call for reinforcements.
Their bail application continues on Saturday.