HomeLocal News100 anti-Mugabe protesters face trial this month

100 anti-Mugabe protesters face trial this month

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More than 100 local human rights activists are this month set to stand trial on various charges, but all related to their participation in anti-government protests that shook the country last year, as citizens demonstrated against the deteriorating political and socio-economic conditions.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

In a statement yesterday, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said the suspects include legislators and ordinary citizens.

“First to stand trial tomorrow, will be Ronia Bunjira, the MDC-T legislator for Harare, and some Harare residents, who were arrested on September 17 for allegedly participating in protests over the government’s refusal to adopt and implement electoral reforms demanded by a coalition of opposition political parties,” the human rights watchdog said.

On Monday, more than 60 Harare residents, including Petros Sokole, will be on trial for allegedly committing public violence. Sokole and his alleged accomplices were arrested following the violent demonstrations in July last year.

The following day, vendors Larry Chasamba, Patrick Chifamba, Tendai Kagodora, Stendrick Zvorwadza and Winnety Mubaiwa, among others, will answer to charges of disorderly conduct in a public place as defined in section 41(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

A day later, MDC-T Glen View North legislator, Fani Munengami, will be brought before the courts along with other residents on charges of participating in a demonstration demanding the implementation of electoral reforms in the country.

“Later in the week, the trial of pro-democracy campaigner (and Tajamuka/Sesijikile) spokesperson, Promise, Mkwananzi, and other human rights activists is scheduled to finally commence on January 12 after suffering a false start last year, as the National Prosecuting Authority’s house wasn’t in order. Mkwananzi and other human rights campaigners were arrested and charged with public violence in connection with a demonstration staged against police brutality in August last year,” ZLHR statement read in part.

Kariba-based clergyman, Patrick Phillip Mugadza of the Remnant Church, will also be in the dock on January 16, facing charges of draping himself in a replica of the national flag “without first seeking permission from the country’s authorities, as defined in section 6 of the Flag of Zimbabwe Act”.

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