Zimbabwe: Tajamuka Leader Denied Bail

Promise Mkwananzi (file photo).
12 August 2019

Tajamuka leader Promise Mkhwananzi has appeared in court on Friday on allegations of attempting to unseat the Government after he allegedly called for a national shutdown in July this year.

Mkhwananzi was facing two counts of attempting to subvert a constitutionally-elected Government and another of inciting public violence when he appeared before Harare magistrate Mrs Learnmore Mapiye.

Prosecutor Ms Tinashe Makiya told the court that Mkhwananzi was facing a Third Schedule offence and must apply for bail at the High Court.

Mkhwananzi's lawyer, Mr Tonderai Bhatasara, told the court that he was proceeding with a bail application at the High Court after admitting that his client was indeed facing a Third Schedule offence.

Mrs Mapiye deferred the matter to August 23.

It is the State's contention that on a date unknown, but sometime between June 1 and June 30 and in Harare, Mkhwananzi allegedly organised a press conference where he urged the public to overthrow the constitutionally-elected Government through unconstitutional means.

During the said press conference, Mkhwananzi allegedly said: "We are calling for a shutdown of Zimbabwe commencing on July 1 to July 5, 2019. During that period, we expect (President) Mnangagwa to address the nation and do something about the rampage political crises and untold economic hardships facing the generality of our people.

"(President) Mnangagwa has two choices before him; to resign and allow Zimbabwe to move forward or to convene an all-inclusive national dialogue under the auspices of an independent and international mediator."

Through his utterances, the court heard that Mkhwananzi "urged, advocated or suggested for the overthrow or attempt to overthrow the Government of Zimbabwe through unconstitutional means".

On the second count of incitement to commit public violence, the State alleges that on a date unknown, but between June 1 and June 30, and at the same press conference, Mkhwananzi encouraged members of the public to engage in acts of public violence against the State.

Mkhwanazi's utterances, the State argues, had the potential of inciting the people of Zimbabwe to commit public disorder scenes.

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