10 May 2005

Zimbabwe: Six Zanu-PF Supporters Appear in Court

Harare — SIX Zanu-PF supporters, who allegedly went to Domboshava Training College and demanded the immediate dismissal of suspected MDC supporters employed at the centre, appeared before a Harare magistrate yesterday.

Siphelile Zhakata (48), Petros Derera (45), Mary Manziyatunya (49), Letwin Sefast (49), Francisca Makanza (42) and William Hondu (40) were not asked to plead to the charges of contravening the Public Order and Security Act when they appeared before magistrate Ms Marehwanazvo Gofa.

Ms Gofa remanded the six out of custody to May 23 this year on $20 000 bail each.

The State alleges that the accused, who are residents of Pote Ward under Chief Chinamhora, allegedly led a group of Zanu-PF youths and went to the Domboshava Training College singing revolutionary songs and chanting ruling party slogans.

It is alleged that the six demanded to see the college executive officer, Mr Steven Macheza, and the deputy principal, Mr Martin Matsenhura.

When they saw the two, they allegedly demanded to know why they had employed MDC youths as general hands at the centre instead of Zanu-PF youths who stirred the ruling party to victory in the just-ended parliamentary elections.

They allegedly demanded to see the workers at the centre whom they later forced to remove their overalls before telling them that they were no longer employees of the institute.

The State alleges that they handed the overalls to the caretaker and then submitted a list of their youths whom they said should be employed by the training institute.

Lessons at the centre were also disrupted as a result of the incident, the court also heard.

The court also heard that before leaving, the six allegedly threatened Mr Matsenhura with bodily harm if he failed to take heed of their demands. A report was made to the police leading to the arrest of the six.

Mr Archie Wochiwunga of the Attorney General's appeared for the State.

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