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Chamisa activist boycotts court

by Staff reporter
17 Sep 2022 at 06:42hrs | Views
THE police now have leads on the whereabouts of one of the five CCC members who disappeared during their trial on charges of staging an illegal demonstration in Warren Park, Harare, in May 2020, the State has said.

Prosecutor Miss Police Muzamani told the court yesterday that the police now have a lead on where Makomborero Haruzivishe might be after he disappeared during the trial of the five.

Haruzivishe is on the run and has been issued with a warrant of arrest.

His co-accused are Joana Mamombe, Stanley Manyenga, Cecilia Chimbiri and Lovejoy Chitengu.

They appeared in court yesterday charged with participating in a gathering with intent to commit public violence, or violating Covid-19 lockdown regulations.

Miss Muzamani sought a postponement to October 19 to allow police to track down Haruzivishe and this was granted.

When the trial opened the five, through their lawyers Mr Alec Muchadehama and Mr Gift Mutisi, denied the charges.

They argued that the charges they were facing were based on repealed law and they could not thus be prosecuted.

They said the legal measure used to charge them was repealed in April this year through a statutory Instrument and prosecuting them amounted to "undue limitation on their right to liberty enshrined in Section 49 of the Constitution".

The five also said the effect of a repeal of law renders it non-existent.

Mamombe and her accomplices argue that participating in a gathering was not an offence.

Holding of placards did not constitute an offence and the State failed to pinpoint who was holding the placards.

State witness Assistant Inspector Tevedzerai Shonhai had chronicled in his testimony how he was informed of the demonstration and how police dispersed the gathering.

"It was sometime in May 2020," he said. "I was stationed at Warren Park. I was deployed at Warren Park D and at around midday I received a telephone call from an informant stating that there was a demonstration taking place.

"After receiving the call, I and the police station reaction team proceeded from Warren Park D to Warren Park 1. We intercepted the demonstrators on the Bulawayo Road at the Warren Park Turn-off. Upon our arrival, there were two members of the demonstrators who were addressing them."

Asst Insp Shonhai told the court that the crowd out-numbered the police and he was instructed to use tear-smoke to disperse them.

"I observed that demonstrators were singing and toyi-toying and some of them holding placards," he said. "Others were wearing Harare City Council branded T-shirts. After considering the manpower, I was deployed with, I contacted superiors on how to disburse the crowd. My superior advised me to fire tear smoke to disperse them."

Asked how he had identified Mamombe at the gathering, Asst Insp Shonhai said he had noticed her as a legislator.

"She is a popular person," he said. "I used to follow her when she was MP and she is actually likeable."

Asst Insp Shonhai told the court that the five CCC members were not chanting their former MDC-A slogans at the time he arrived where they were gathered.

"From the period of interception, I did not hear MDC slogans. No one was harassed," he said.

Source - The Herald
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