16 February 2019

Zimbabwe: 'Dead' Protester Kaitano Jailed

Kadoma — Tinashe Kaitano, who was alleged by MDC-Alliance and its non-governmental organisations associates to have been killed by security forces during the illegal demonstrations organised by the opposition party last month, was yesterday sentenced to three years in jail.

The MDC-Alliance and its NGO affiliates had included Kaitano among the dead in a bid to balloon the number of the victims so as to tarnish the image of Government.

Kaitano and City of Kadoma Ward 2 councillor and MDC-Alliance district chairperson Michael Gore were convicted by magistrate Takudzwa Gwazemba for inciting violence, leading to loss of life, burning of several properties, including the Zanu-PF office in Rimuka.

Mr Gwazemba initially sentenced the duo to 48 months imprisonment each before suspending 12 months from each sentence for five years on conditions of good behaviour. Relatives and friends broke into tears as the magistrate pronounced the verdict.

Kaitano and Gore were initially charged together with businessman Wellington Maketa and Elphigio Mapiriyawo.

Maketa and Mapiriyawo were acquitted after the State failed to prove that they were involved in the violent protests.

In convicting Kaitano and Gore, Mr Gwazemba said public violence was a crime of serious nature which deserved severe punishment.

The prosecution led by Ms Gracious Chaminuka proved that Gore led a group of protesters who stoned Zanu-PF offices in Kadoma. Kaitano led in shutting down shops, barricading roads and uprooting road signs.

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