Conflict tarnishes treason acquittal of top MDC figure

MDC supporters turn violent against police. Photo by CAJ News Africa, Masvingo Bureau

MDC supporters turn violent against police. Photo by CAJ News Africa, Masvingo Bureau

from MERCY MUJURU in Masvingo, Zimbabwe
MASVINGO, (CAJ News) FIVE Zimbabweans, including a councillor, are to appear in court following the skirmishes that marred the acquittal of opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) vice-chairman, Job Sikhala, on treason charges.

Law enforcers allege the individuals damaged a police vehicle and destroyed property when Sikhala appeared at the High Court in the ancient town of Masvingo last Friday.

Police arrested the suspects, including Godfrey Kurauone, the MDC councillor for Masvingo Central, on Sunday.

His co-accused are Peter Chigamba, Kissmaker Mapote, Daniel Mberikunashe and Olivia Tobaiwa.

They have been charged with malicious damage to property under the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers alleged that they threw stones at a police vehicle and damaged windows at some retail shops during the court appearance of Sikhala, who is also a legislator of Zengeza West in the capital Harare.

The appearance was marred by tensions with law enforcement agents firing teargas canisters to disperse people who had gathered outside the courthouse to follow proceedings.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights has secured the release of the suspects.

They are to appear in court by way of summons.

Meanwhile, High Court Judge, Justice Garainesu Mawadze, last Friday acquitted Sikhala on charges of plotting to overthrow President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.

The outspoken Sikhala was arrested in July last year following a political rally he addressed in the mining town of Bikita in Masvingo Province.

He was alleged to have declared MDC would have removed Mnangagwa from power before the next elections.

– CAJ News

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