Japajapa’s ‘rigged’ elections case remanded for ruling

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

A HARARE magistrate has set May 17 as the day he will make a ruling on MDC Alliance activist Paddington Japajapa, who is accused of inciting the political violence which rocked the capital on August 1 2018.

Japajapa is facing charges of contravening section 36 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Chapter 9:23 through incitement to commit public violence, a charge he denied when he appeared before magistrate Learnmore Mapiye.

Japajapa, who is represented by Simon Simango, was put to his defence and denied the allegations.

According to the laws of tendering exhibits, the State was supposed to authenticate the video evidence from YouTube where they downloaded the recording, but it was going to be costly to send the investigations officer to the United States of America to do that.

The State alleges that on July 31, Japajapa held a Press conference at a time election results were being announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) and threatened to call for chaos, claiming the elections had been rigged.

“If people come to rallies, it means they appreciate the candidate, you cannot follow a candidate whom you cannot vote for. . . . Zec must do the right thing by announcing the proper results. Failure to do this, as leader of a civic organisation I am going to call for chaos in the country,” Japajapa allegedly said.

Following the alleged incitement by Japajapa, MDC Alliance supporters violently stormed the city’s central business district in protest, leading to the destruction of property whose value is yet to be ascertained.

Desire Chidanire appeared for the State.

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