Chinhoyi Magistrate Tapiwa Banda on Wednesday 23 June 2021 set free three people by removing them from remand on charges of contravening national lockdown for allegedly partaking in or convening a gathering knowing that such a gathering is prohibited.
The trio of Emmanuel Chinanzvavana, Aldini Wairesi and Daniel Hove, who are opposition MDC Alliance party members and were represented by Tinomuda Shoko and Paidamoyo Saurombe of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, were arrested by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers on 27 March 2021 in Mutorashanga and charged with contravening section 5(3)(a) of the Public Health COVID-19 Prevention, Containment, Treatment (National, Lockdown) Consolidation, Containment Amendment Order 2020.
Prosecutors alleged that Chinanzvavana, Wairesi and Hove, who are out of custody on RTGS$10 000 bail each, partook or convened an unlawful gathering of people numbering about 100 at a residential place knowing that such a gathering is prohibited.
On Wednesday 23 June 2021, Chinanzvavana, Wairesi and Hove were removed from remand by Magistrate Banda after two state witnesses Francis Kapuyanyika and Abel Mushipe, who are ZRP officers and who arrested them in March, once again failed to appear in court for trial to commence. This resulted in warrants of arrest being issued against the two law enforcement agents.
Prosecutors were advised to proceed by issuing summons to compel the trio to return to court if they intend to proceed with prosecuting them.
Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights