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Released MDC activist cries foul

by Staff reporter
03 May 2020 at 09:26hrs | Views
MDC Alliance activist Josphat "Mzaca" Ngulube claims his incarceration exposed him to the biased nature of the justice delivery service system in the country, arguing the process was frustrating for accused persons from the region.

Bulawayo High Court Judge, Justice Martin Makonese recently granted Ngulube and another party activist Otilia Sibanda $2 000 bail after the duo spent two months at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison in Harare.

The pair was sentenced, by a Bulawayo magistrate, to sixyears in prison on charges of burning three cars and property belonging to a Zanu-PF Bulawayo provincial women's league chairperson Eva Bitu during the January 2019 fuel protests.

Ngulube, however, described his incarceration as political persecution, pleading his innocence while claiming that his transfer from Khami Maximum Security Prison on the outskirts of Bulawayo to Harare was a blessing in disguise.

"Why were the Bulawayo magistrates' courts refusing with the record of proceedings for my bail application?

"They had to be ordered by the Judicial Services Commission [JSC] in Harare to release my record in just a week after my family and lawyers tried to no avail with authorities at Bulawayo Tredgold magistrate court," Ngulube said.

"Going to Harare was a blessing in disguise for me.

"This is where I penned a letter to the JSC secretary [one] F Mashure, who ordered the release of my record of proceedings and it was released very fast.

"Bail applications in Bulawayo are very stressing especially for those who are in prison, because there is no a way of applying even when you are in prison.

"In Harare the prisoners are accorded their rights to justice and the process is very fast."

Mzaca said he was attending a funeral of his grandfather Jimmy Ngulube on the day the vehicles were burnt at a house belonging to Bitu.

"I want to tell fellow friends and Zimbabweans at large that your leader was arrested for nothing, but only to be persecuted for being a political activist and a youthful leader who is destined to uniting and leading Zimbabwe at national level," he said.

Ngulube contested the 2018 parliamentary elections as an independent candidate in Bulawayo South constituency before joining the MDC early this year.

According to prosecutor Jetro Mada, during the Ngulube and Sibanda's trial, on January 14 at about 7 am, the two, acting in connivance with 100 others, unlawfully blocked the free movement of traffic at an intersection along Sizinda Road and Nketa Drive.

Mada said the crew accused Bitu of solely benefiting from taxpayers' money and pushed her Ford Ranger out of the yard and set it alight.

Mada said the cars had a total value of US$95 000.

Source - The Standard

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