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Zim lawyer, seven residents detained over repressive MOPO Act

by Stephen Jakes
13 Jul 2023 at 11:17hrs | Views
EIGHT Chiredzi residents in Zimbabwe are languishing in prison after they were denied bail following their arrest charged with contravening the provisions of the repressive Maintenance of Peace and Order (MOPO) Act last week.

Zimbabwean authorities are accused of abusing MOPO by banning the main opposition political party Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) led by Nelson Chamisa's pre-election campaign activities.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) reported today (11 July) that Farai Chauke (42), a lawyer at Chauke and Associates Legal Practitioners, was arrested on July 5 together with seven Chiredzi residents namely, Mollen Shonhai (27), Gladmore Gungubu (18), Kudzai Madyira (27), Charles Mungate (50), Lloyd Mushari (26), Agrippa Dhambureni (29) and Simon Hlomani (56) after some Zimbabwean Police officers threw teargas canisters at some CCC supporters, who were gathered outside Tshovani Stadium in Chiredzi in Masvingo province.

Chauke, Shonhai, Gungubu, Madyira, Mungate, Mushari, Dhambureni and Hlomani were charged with failure to comply with conditions under which a meeting is authorised as defined in section 8 (ii) of the MOPO Act.

Prosecutors alleged that the eight Chiredzi residents refused to comply with an order in which they were told to disperse from Tshovani Stadium after law enforcement agents prohibited CCC political party from holding a campaign rally which had been scheduled for July 5.

Prosecutors claimed that Chauke, Shonhai, Gungubu, Madyira, Mungate, Mushari, Dhambureni and Hlomani, who were represented by Ross Chavi of ZLHR, started singing some political songs and threw stones towards police officers after being told to disperse.

On Friday, Chiredzi Magistrate Vimbai Mutukwa denied bail to the eight residents after ruling that Zimbabwe was now in pre-election season and that there would be a propensity among them to commit similar offences.

Magistrate Mutukwa then remanded Chauke, Shonhai, Gungubu, Madyira, Mungate, Mushari, Dhambureni and Hlomani to 14 July 2023, where their trial is scheduled to commence.

Source - Byo24News