Opposition MDC-Alliance party youth leader Obey Sithole on Tuesday 27 April 2021 spent his second night in police detention at Harare Central Police Station after some Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers released him from police cells yesterday morning to appear at Harare Magistrates Court but later made a volte-face.
While Sithole and his lawyer Obey Shava of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) were at the prosecutors’ “vetting” office at Harare Magistrates Court, ZRP officers then decided to take him back to Harare Central Police Station saying they had received instructions from their superiors who advised that it was too early to take Sithole to court.
Sithole is now expected to appear at Harare Magistrates Court on Wednesday 28 April 2021.
The MDC-Alliance party youth leader was arrested on Monday 26 April 2021 by ZRP officers outside Harare Magistrates Court and was charged with criminal nuisance as defined in section 46 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act. ZRP officers allege that Sithole together with some unidentified people who have not yet been apprehended participated in a demonstration held at New Government Complex in Harare on 1 April 2021, where he sang protest songs with the lyrics “haikona kutamba neropa revakomana” and held placards inscribed “Free Mako, Free Joana, Ziyambi Must Go”.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday 28 April 2021, the High Court will hear and make a determination on a fresh bail appeal filed by Harare West constituency legislator Hon. Joana Mamombe and MDC-Alliance party youth leader Cecilia Chimbiri seeking to be released from Chikurubi Maximum Prison, where they have been in detention for 53 days.
Hon. Mamombe and Chimbiri, who are represented by Alec Muchadehama, Charles Kwaramba and Jeremiah Bamu of ZLHR were arrested on 5 March 2021 by ZRP officers and charged for allegedly failing to confine themselves at home and convening a media briefing outside Harare Magistrates Court calling for release of pro-democracy campaigner Makomborero Haruzivishe in contravention of Zimbabwe’s national lockdown regulations. The hearing of their bail appeal on Wednesday 28 April 2021 will be the fourth time that they have sought to be released from prison pending the commencement of their trial.
The High Court will also make a determination on a bail appeal filed by Ngonidzashe Mupfumba, Patrick Shumba and Kudakwashe Butau, who were denied bail by Magistrate Denis Mangosi. The trio was arrested on 6 April 2021 by ZRP officers and charged with disorderly conduct after they allegedly chanted some slogans outside Harare Magistrates Court after attending a court session for Haruzivishe.
Mupfumba, Shumba and Butau are represented by Gift Mtisi of ZLHR.