8 May 2012

Zimbabwe: Zinasu Members Get Trial Date

The trial date for six members of the Zimbabwe National Students Union who were arrested at the Harare Magistrates court while demanding the release of political activist Munyaradzi Gwisai and his accomplices has been set for June 5.

Gwisai and his accomplices Antoneta Choto (36), Tatenda Mombeyarara (29), Edson Chakuma (38), Hopewell Gumbo (32) and Welcome Zimuto (25) had been convicted of conspiring to commit public violence and were awaiting their sentence while the University students and others still at large, gathered outside the court chanting slogans and throwing fliers.

Francis Mufambi (21), Tinashe Mutyaso (25), Jorum Chikwadze (21), Tinashe Chisaira (24), Pride Mukono (22) and Tryvine Musokeri (23) are out on US$20 bail apiece. They are being charged with disorderly conduct.

Musokeri and Chikwadze were, however, issued with warrants of arrest after they failed to appear before magistrate Mr Donald Ndirowei for their routine remand.

Their lawyer Mr Obey Shava informed the court that the two had been arrested in Chinhoyi and were being held by police but did not confirm why.

Prosecutor Mr Nyikadzino Machingura alleges that on March 21 this year, the six together with about 30 other accomplices who are still at large gathered outside the Magistrates' court in solidarity with Gwisai and his accomplices. It is alleged the Zinasu members were singing obscene songs and chanting slogans.

It is the State's case that they also threw fliers inscribed, "Freedom for Zimuto, Choto, Gwisai, Chakuma, Mombeyarara and Gumbo. The continued persecution of these innocent comrades has now become intolerable. The incrimination of basic freedoms of assembly and the right to hold opinion of choice is regrettable and should not be allowed anymore. The sons and daughters of Zimbabwe deserve their freedom, freedom now, freedom in our lifetime".

Police support unit troops were called to the scene and managed to arrest the six while others disappeared, it is alleged.

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