Arrested ‘protesters’ are MDC Alliance polling agents

SUSPECTED MDC Alliance protesters, who were arrested at the party headquarters last Thursday were mostly polling agents and candidates who were submitting their V11 forms collected from various constituencies, the court heard yesterday.

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

Some of the 24 MDC Alliance supporters arrested for protesting against the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s delay in releasing the presidential election results arrive at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts yesterday for bail hearing

The suspected protesters, who are charged with public violence, appeared before magistrate Francis Vhitorini and were represented by human rights lawyers Gift Mtisi, Lizwe Jamela, Denford Halimani, Kossam Ncube and James Makiya.

While applying for bail, the accused’s lawyers told the court that the military caused commotion at the party headquarters while the accused persons were surrendering poll returns to their superiors.

Jamela said his clients never participated in the protests and were mostly polling agents from Uzumba, Maramba and Pfungwe, who were submitting polling returns and collecting their allowances.

“Your worship, one of the accused persons, Simpson Nerwande, is the national election officer. When the party headquarters was closed by the military, he was busy collecting polling returns from the polling agents and he denies the charge,” Jamela said.

Among the arrested persons were Harare South losing parliamentary candidate Shadreck Mashayamombe, Simbarashe Mujeye, Happymore Chidziva’s elections manager and some party workers based at the Richard Morgan Tsvangirai House.

Jamela further told the court that his clients were proper candidates for bail, as the State had failed to proffer compelling reasons on why the suspects must be denied bail.

He said all his clients were of fixed abode and were prepared to surrender their passports if given bail and could also afford $50 bail.

While opposing bail, prosecutor Michael Reza told court that the accused persons were likely to incite violence.

“Your worship, the situation outside is fluid, is volatile. The accused persons have unfinished business outside. If released, they can regroup and protest again. These accused persons caused the death of six innocent people and all were not part of the protests, but were caught in the crossfire,” Reza said.

“The police were looking for them and they ran away and hid inside their party headquarters. Instead of surrendering, they sought refuge at Morgan Tsvangirai House. Some of them were observed setting vehicles on fire, stoning buildings belonging to their opponents.”

The bail application is expected to continue today.

4 Comments

  1. Comment…They must stay in remand prison as they caused death and destroyed property. Biti, Komichi, Happymore Chidziva and must join them. Biti boasted that he is ready to die but he cant be found, hiding in his mother’s undies, shame

    1. you are obviously a pathetic zanu pf apologist

  2. Farai Johnson Nhire

    No body is above the law in Zimbabwe. Also, an attempt to link violence culprits with v11 forms is very suspicious. It looks like it is a way to find excuses for failure to prove the alleged rigging of elections. The link with a wellknown Zanu Pf stronghold to those people is not a coincidence. The next lie will be that these people’s copies of v11 forms cannot be found because they were lost because of the comotion or they were seized from them by the police.

  3. Are the said agents’ signatures found on bothe their and ZEC’s original v11 forms? Why submitting them 2 days after the elections and not on 31 July? How did they know that they had won when the v11 forms from UMP werent yet arrived?

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