BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
A HARARE magistrate yesterday dismissed an application for temporary release of the passport for one of the seven human rights activists who are facing charges of trying to subvert a constitutionally-elected government after attending a training workshop in the Maldives.
Frank Mpahlo had filed an application for release of his passport and two laptops, saying he intends to travel outside the country. However, magistrate
Learnmore Mapiye dismissed the application, saying the passport and laptop were being held as exhibits.
Mpahlo is being charged together with Beauty Rita Nyampinga (61) of Communications Services and Allied Union Workers of Zimbabwe, Sithabile Dewa (34) (Women’s
Academy for Leadership and Political Excellence), George Makoni (Centre for Community Development in Zimbabwe), Tatenda Mombeyarara (International Socialists),
Gamuchirai Mukura (Community Tolerance Reconciliation and Development), Nyasha Mpahlo (Green Governance Zimbabwe) and Farirai Gumbonzvanda of Rosaria Memorial
Jeremiah Bhamu and Jessie Majome are representing the accused.
The application is one of several applications they made before the court and all were dismissed with the court citing security reasons.
The matter appears to be a hot potato for the State and Judiciary after the suspects appeared in court for almost one week with magistrates refusing to handle it, saying it was a regional court’s matter.
Allegations are that the seven travelled to Maldives where they went to a workshop organised by a Serbian non-governmental organisation, Centre for Applied
Non-Violent Action and Strategies (Canvas), with the intention to subvert a constitutionally-elected government.
It is alleged that during the workshop, they received training on how to mobilise citizens to turn against the government and to engage in acts of civil
disobedience and or resistance to any law during the anticipated national protest by anti-government movements.
The State further alleges that the five trained on how to operate small arms, evade arrest during civil unrest and were taught on counter intelligence and acts
It is alleged that on May 27, they were intercepted and arrested upon arrival at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.
Their laptops and cellphones, which contain the subversive materials were recovered from the accused and were sent to the Postal and Telecommunications
Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe for extraction of evidence.
The court also heard that notes from the workshop conducted by the accused were also recovered.