THE 12 MDC-T activists arrested in the capital last Tuesday for participating in an unsanctioned gathering with the alleged intent to promote public violence, breach of peace or bigotry, were yesterday granted $100 bail each after the State consented to their release.
by PAIDAMOYO MUZULU
Soon after the State’s withdrawal of its opposition to the activists’ release, Harare magistrate Tendai Mahwe immediately granted them bail coupled with reporting conditions.
“The courts grant you bail in the sum of $100 each and you are ordered to reside at your given addresses, report once a week at Harare Central Law and Order section and not to interfere with State witnesses,” Mahwe said.
The activists, who were then remanded to December 16 this year, are Joshua Chigwida (32), Obert Chirape (36), David Mazibiye (45), Collen Mhizha (30), Gardner Propedra (30), Jesmane Mwachande (32), Stephen Kalima (32), Kudzai Maponga (18), Wisdom Anesu Pemhiwa (27), Gibson Marihoho (31), Casper Charama (20) and Tongesai Chirisa (29).
The court’s decision followed prosecutor Idah Maromo’s submission on the State’s position.
“The State has changed its position and is no longer opposing bail for the 12 accused,” Maromo told the court.
She, however, did not give any explanation on why the State had changed its stance.
All the activists were represented by Obey Shava and Billiat Julajulah.
Allegations against the accused are that on Tuesday last week, they were part of a group of about 50 MDC-T members who gathered at Harvest House (MDC-T headquarters) with the intention of staging a demonstration in the city.
According to the State, the group started marching along Nelson Mandela Avenue towards First Street, holding placards and singing, and some of the placards were written, “Time is over, it’s time to act”, “Stop violence or we will stop you” and “No to dark cities”.
The State further alleges the activists, upon noticing that the police were pursuing them, became agitated, picked stones from the streets and threw them at the law enforcement agents.
It is alleged the activists later retreated towards Harvest House, with some seeking sanctuary at Roslyn House from where they were arrested.