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Haruzivishe appealing both conviction and 'harsh' sentence, says lawyer

by Staff reporter
07 Apr 2021 at 09:46hrs | Views
Jailed opposition MDC Alliance youth activist Makomborero Haruzivishe is appealing his conviction and 14-months sentence at the High Court, his attorney said on Wednesday, calling the punishment "too harsh."

Magistrate Judith Taruvinga condemned Haruzivishe to two years' imprisonment on Tuesday after finding him guilty of inciting public violence and resisting police arrest, before slashing the sentence on condition of good behavior.

The pro-democracy campaigner had denied both charges.

"I'm not happy at all. To start with, the court erred in convicting my client. That was a big mistake, and this is why we are taking this to the High Court," attorney Kossam Ncube told VOA Studio 7.

"We are arguing that in the first place Makomborero was not supposed to be found guilty. Yes, the sentence is too much; too harsh, but what concerns me most is the conviction which should not have happened."

Ncube accused the magistrate of rushing to send the 29-year-old to prison even in the absence of unimpeachable evidence implicating him.

"Before the week is over our appeal will be before the High Court. We will also apply for his release on bail pending appeal. An appeal can take longer, so we want him to be released while he awaits his appeal hearing," Ncube added.

The MDC Alliance said it was "extremely concerned by the Mnangagwa regime's penchant to commit crimes against citizens and violate human rights with impunity."

"We condemn the regime's intensified clampdown on dissent and its abuse of the courts to punish innocent people. Given his bad record of human rights abuses, Mnangagwa has no capacity or willingness to preside over a competent system that can effectively deliver justice and protect human rights," the party said.

The Nelson Chamisa-led main opposition also said it was concerned about activists "Cecilia Chimbiri and Joana Mamombe who are currently illegally imprisoned since March 2021 as well as Tinashe Bwanaisa, Raketsi Marufu, Collin Paison, Tafara Mafunde, Farai Chidziva, and Trust Nyamado who are serving five-year-jail terms for participating in a protest in January 2019."

The United States government and Amnesty International have recently issued separate damning reports, accusing President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his Zanu-PF government of ramping up human rights abuses against opposition activists and pro-democracy advocates.

Source - zimlive