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Chamisa says his activists are innocent

by Staff reporter
23 Nov 2022 at 05:03hrs | Views
CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa has claimed that the 14 Nyatsime party supporters accused of inciting violence are victims of political persecution.

The 14 were released last week on bail after spending five months in remand prison.

Their co-accused Job Sikhala remains in detention, while fellow legislator Godfrey Sithole is also out on bail.

Speaking soon after meeting the Nyatsime 14 on Monday in Malbereign, Harare, Chamisa said the activists were courageous.

"Jail isn't any easy experience, but we can see that they are courageous and determined. They are all being victimised. They did not commit any offence," Chamisa said.

"They are innocent and we maintain that point. The law defends that point that they are innocent until proven guilty. It's just an allegation and we still insist that they are innocent.

"We thank them for continuing to be strong and promise them that a new great Zimbabwe is coming. This is why our colleagues in Zanu-PF are panicking."

Sikhala has been denied bail countless times with the State accusing him of being a repeat offender.

One of the Nyatsime 14, Misheck Guzha told NewsDay that they were exposed to poor living conditions in prison.

"My experience in prison was very tough. I ate poorly cooked food. We were crowded and the toilet flushing system was not working. We were 40 in a cell that is expected to accommodate 20 inmates. You could hardly walk to the toilet at night. That was terrible," Guzha said.

Guzha lamented that his shelter was destroyed during violent clashes in June, resulting in his arrest.

The violence occurred at the funeral wake of murdered opposition activist Moreblessing Ali.

"My family was happy when I was given bail, but those from the rival party (Zanu-PF) are threatening people who are coming to welcome me. However, I have no shelter over my head after my house was set on fire. Nothing was salvaged," Guzha said.

Another accused person Chauya Shopa said: "Life in prison is not easy, but when you get in, you feel hardened. I no longer fear anything."

They were freed on $50 000 bail each by the High Court on November 15 after spending five months in remand prison.

They were being represented by advocate Thabani Mpofu who was being instructed by Noble Chinhanu of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum.

High Court judge Justice Munamato Mutevedzi ordered the Nyatsime 14 to report twice a week at their nearest police station, not to interfere with State witnesses and to reside at their given addresses.

Source - Newsday Zimbabwe