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Harare Residents Persecuted Over Bond Notes Protest As Mugadza Trial Continues

FIVE Harare residents who allegedly protested against the introduction of bond notes are currently undergoing trial after they were accused of destroying property during a demonstration held in the capital city last year.

The five namely Costa Zvokusekwa, Pfungwa Gunda, Freddy Muchavanhuwa, Tendai Marimo and Rodrick Madzivire, who are represented by Kuzivakwashe Ngodza of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) are on trial after they were arrested on 30 November 2016 and charged with public violence in contravention of Section 36 (1) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.

The five residents, prosecutors charged, allegedly gathered at Harvest House, the headquarters of the opposition MDC-T political party, where they held a public meeting denouncing the introduction of bond notes, a new currency which was introduced by the government last year as part of a desperate bid to stave off an agonising cash crisis.

Prosecutors claimed that Zvokusekwa, Gunda, Muchavanhuwa, Marimo and Madzivire on 30 November 2016 and in central Harare, unlawfully and forcibly disturbed the peace, security and order of the public to a serious extent by throwing stones and shattering window panes belonging to three financial institutions among them Kingdom Bank, Barclays Bank, National Building Society and clothing retail shops Edgars Stores and Power Sales thereby causing damage to the said premises. The prosecutors put the value of the damaged property at $490.

Zvokusekwa, Gunda, Muchavanhuwa, Marimo and Madzivire return to court on Monday 12 June 2017 for the continuation of their trial.

Meanwhile, a Harare Magistrate on Wednesday 17 May 2017 postponed the trial of Remnant Pentecostal Church leader Pastor Patrick Mugadza to 05 June 2017. Mugadza, who is represented by Gift Mtisi and Kuzivakwashe Ngodza of ZLHR is on trial on charges of criminal nuisance as defined in Section 46 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.

Pastor Mugadza was arrested on 22 November 2016 and charged with criminal nuisance after he allegedly tied himself on some steel rails at Africa Unity Square in Harare while protesting against President Robert Mugabe’s administration.

Prosectors charged that Pastor Mugadza made noise by uttering the words; “I am in bondage in my own country whilst you are seated,” during his one man protest, thereby causing unnecessary annoyance to members of the public and to some employees who work at Parliament Building.

The clergyman returns to court on Monday 05 June 2017 for trial continuation.

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