Court Acquits 21-year-old Man Charged Over Shutdown Protests

MBARE Magistrate Kudzai Zihove on Wednesday 10 July 2019 acquitted Kudakwashe Nyanga, who had been on trial after he was arrested in January and charged with public violence for allegedly participating in an anti-government protest.

The 21 year-old Nyanga, who was represented by Gift Mtisi and Tinashe Mundawarara of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, was arrested by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers on 15 January 2019 and charged with public violence as defined in section 36(1)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

During trial, prosecutors claimed that Nyanga unlawfully and forcibly disturbed the peace, security or order of the public during an anti-government demonstration held in January to protest against the hike in fuel prices by burning tyres along Seke road in Harare and throwing stones and other missiles at members of the public and at some police officers who were manning Mbare Police Station.

But Magistrate Zihove on Wednesday 10 July 2019 discharged and acquitted Nyanga at the close of the prosecution case after ruling that the evidence led by state witnesses during trial was discredited.

Magistrate Zihove noted that none of the Zimbabwe Republic Police officers who testified during Nyanga’s trial told the court why he was shot while the arresting officer didn’t testify in court.

Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights