18 December 2018

Zimbabwe: Violence Accused Japajapa Off the Hook Again

Controversial MDC activist and businessman, Paddington Japajapa was on Monday set free by the courts after the state has dithered in its attempts to pin him on inciting violence allegations during the tense July 30 post-election period.

Japajapa was removed from remand for the second time after a single witness who is expected to testify against him failed to turn up in court.

Harare magistrate, Edwin Marecha chastised the state accusing prosecutors of incompetence.

"It is clear the state's house is not in order. When you are ready you will summon the accused," he ruled.

The state told court that the witness, a police officer was tied up with another matter in Karoi.

Japajapa was once freed a month ago on similar reasons.

The anti-government activist was summoned again last week after the state indicated that it was ready for his trial.

But the witness failed to attend court again.

Japajapa is being charged with incitement to commit public violence.

According to the state, on July 31 at the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Command Centre at Rainbow Towers, Japajapa unlawfully made communication to induce political violence at an election results announcement press conference by ZEC.

Japajapa allegedly said: "If people come to rallies it means they appreciate the candidate, you cannot follow a candidate whom you cannot vote for... Zec must do the right thing by announcing the proper results. Failure to do this, as leader of a civic organisation I am going to call for chaos in the country... "

He was subsequently apprehended for the offence.

Caroline Mutimusakwa prosecuted.

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