Zim Court sets free opposition legislator charged with public violence

A ZIMBABWEAN court has set free an opposition legislator who had been arrested for allegedly inciting his MDC Alliance party supporters to commit public violence ahead of the harmonised elections held in July.

Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers arrested Happymore Chidziva, the MDC Alliance party Youth Assembly leader, who is the Highfield West constituency MP-Elect, on Monday 03 September 2018 and charged him with incitement as defined in section 187 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

Prosecutors alleged that Chidziva, who is represented by Jeremiah Bamu and Brian Dube of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), encouraged his MDC Alliance party supporters during a political rally held in July 2018 in Gweru in Midlands province to protest against an unfavourable election outcome and to defend their vote if Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) rigs the election in favour of ZANU PF party.

But Chidziva was set free by Gweru Provincial Magistrate Charity Maphosa after she granted him $100 bail and ordered him to report once a fortnight at Machipisa Police Station in Harare’s Highfield suburb.

In Harare, another MDC Alliance party youth leader, Chamunorwa Madya, the Deputy Secretary-General for the MDC Alliance party Youth Assembly and Mafaiti Mubaiwa, who is employed as a security personnel at the opposition party headquarters were set to appear at Harare Magistrates Court, answering to charges of contravening section 36(1)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

ZRP officers, who arrested Madya and Mubaiwa on Monday 03 September 2018, accused the duo of committing public violence after they allegedly participated in a demonstration held in Harare early in August to protest ZEC’s management of the July 30 harmonised elections.

Madya and Mubaiwa, who were represented by Nontokozo Dube-Tachiona and Gugulethu Mahlangu-Simango of ZLHR, were expected to be set free on bail too.

Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights

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