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Anti-Mnangagwa activist goes to court

by Staff reporter
07 Aug 2019 at 09:22hrs | Views
ANTI-Government activist and Bulawayo South Constituency losing independent candidate in last year's harmonised elections, Josphat Ngulube, has approached the High Court challenging the dismissal of his application for discharge after he allegedly took part in the January violent demonstrations.

Ngulube (34) of Sizinda suburb's application for discharge was dismissed by Bulawayo magistrate Tinashe Tashaya. He is among other 11 suspects arrested on charges of public violence after they allegedly burnt three cars, destroyed a precast wall and broke several windows of a house belonging to Zanu-PF Bulawayo provincial women's league chairperson Eva Bitu.

Ngulube, through his lawyer Mr Nqobani Sithole of Ncube Attorneys, filed an application for review at the Bulawayo High Court, citing Mr Tashaya and the State as respondents. He wants an order setting aside proceedings of the lower court under CRB BYO P343D/19, arguing that there were gross irregularities.

Ngulube also wants the matter to be referred back to the lower court under a different magistrate.

In his founding affidavit, Ngulube said there was a grossly irregular application of criminal procedural law, which resulted in a violation of his constitutional right to a fair trial.

"The first respondent (Mr Tashaya) in deciding my application for discharge, has already exhibited his satisfaction of the fact that I am guilty before a full trial and judgment. My right to a fair trial would be violated if the first respondent were to proceed and continue to preside over the issue of determining my guilt or innocence when he has already exhibited satisfaction with proof of my guilt before my trial has been concluded," he said.

According to court papers, on 14 January at about 7AM, Ngulube, acting in connivance with others, unlawfully blocked free movement of traffic at an intersection along Sizinda Road and Nketa Drive.

They allegedly engaged in acts of violence and went to Bitu's residence where they threw stones and destroyed a precast wall to gain access to the yard.  

They destroyed window panes before torching her three cars, a Ford Ranger, Nissan NP 300 and a Toyota Vitz. They also damaged roofing sheets and the complainant managed to escape uninjured together with her family. The group proceeded to Tshabalala Housing Office and clinic where they allegedly stoned the buildings.

Ngulube has another case pending before the courts for allegedly leading an illegal demonstration in the city last month in violation of a section of the Public Order and Security Act (Posa).  

He illegally convened a gathering without notifying the police who are the regulating authority. He was released on $100 bail.

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Source - chronicle