Zimbabwe News

5 Chitungwiza residents acquitted on public violence charges

The Chitungwiza Magistrate Court has acquitted five opposition supporters, including a local councillor, who were facing public violence charges.

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said Councillor Beven Murada, as well as Saul Chidanguro, Wilbert Chimbwedza, Solomon Savanhu and Blessed Kudakwashe Mutseka, were arrested on 26 July 2023 in Unit L suburb in Chitungwiza during the run-up to the 2023 harmonised elections.

The five were charged with public violence as defined in section 36(1)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

During trial, prosecutors alleged that the five residents, who were represented by ZLHR’s Tapiwa Muchineripi, had connived as a mob and disrupted and assaulted some ruling ZANU PF political party supporters, who were reportedly attending a meeting at some borehole in Unit L suburb.

But on Thursday, Magistrate Matova set Murada, Chidanguro, Chimbwedza, Savanhu and Mutseka free, by discharging and acquitting them at the close of the prosecution case.

Matova ruled that prosecutors had failed to prove a prima facie case against the 5 residents as there were no essential elements proven for the offence they were charged with.

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