Haruzivishe to Appeal Against “Whistleblowing” Conviction and 36 Month-Long Imprisonment

Human rights lawyers are working on filing an appeal against the conviction and imprisonment of prominent pro-democracy campaigner Makomborero Haruzivishe after he was imprisoned for an effective 20 months by Harare Magistrate Judith Taruvinga on charges of inciting public violence and resisting arrest by law enforcement agents.

Magistrate Taruvinga, who on Wednesday 31 March 2021 convicted Haruzivishe, sentenced him on Tuesday 6 April 2021 to serve 36 months in jail. However, 16 months of his sentence were suspended on condition that he does not commit the same offence and gets convicted.

On the first count of incitement as defined in section 187 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Magistrate Taruvinga sentenced Haruzivishe to serve 24 months in prison of which 10 months were suspended for a period of five years.

On the second count of resisting a peace officer as defined in section 176 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, the pro-democracy campaigner was sentenced to serve 12 months of which six months were suspended for a period of five years.

The 28 year-old Haruzivishe, who was represented by Kossam Ncube of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, was arrested by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers on 5 February 2020 and charged with inciting public violence and resisting arrest by law enforcement agents.

During trial, prosecutors alleged that Haruzivishe incited some vendors to commit public violence by whistling to them when some ZRP officers were on an operation to round up informal traders in Harare’s central business district.

Haruzivishe, the prosecutors charged, also resisted arrest by some police officers who wanted to apprehend him.

The former Zimbabwe National Students Union leader, also has some pending cases in court for which he was arrested in 2020 and in 2021 including that of allegedly kidnapping and locking up some Impala Car Rental employees in their offices accusing the car rental company of aiding the abduction and disappearance of Tawanda Muchehiwa, a media studies student at Midlands State University student, by leasing out its vehicles to some state security agents.

Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)

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