Zimbabwe: MDC-a Youth Leader Out On Bail

MDC Alliance youth assembly leader Obey Tererai Sithole yesterday appeared in court on allegations of participating in an illegal demonstration with intent to promote public violence in Warren Park recently.

He faces an alternative charge of contravening Statutory Instrument 99 of 2020 (Covid-19 prevention, containment and treatment), which bars the gathering of more than 50 individuals in a public place during the national lockdown, except those who are exempted.

Sithole becomes the sixth person to be arrested in connection with the case following the arrest of his alleged accomplices Joana Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiru, Netsai Marova, Lovejoy Chitengu and Stanley Manyenga, who have since appeared in court.

The MDC-A youth leader appeared before magistrate Mrs Rumbidzai Mugwagwa who released him on $1 000 bail with the State's consent.

Sithole was ordered to surrender his passport, report once a fortnight at CID Law and Order and not to interfere with witnesses.

He will be back in court on August 10 and is being represented by Harare lawyers Messrs Jeremiah Bhamu and Obey Shava.

Prosecuting, Mr Sebastian Mutizirwa alleged that on May 13 at around 12.30pm, Sithole, Harare West legislator Mamombe, Chimbiru, Marova, Chitengu, Manyenga and several others who are still at large, gathered at Warren Park 1 shopping centre.

Sithole and his alleged accomplices allegedly marched from the shopping centre going towards the Harare-Bulawayo Road.

According to the State, they displayed and waved placards, one of which was inscribed "Unlock us before we revolt".

The gang demonstrated against the extension of Covid-19 national lockdown and were later intercepted and dispersed by the police.

The accused persons were identified by witnesses.

Meanwhile, the State yesterday gave notice of its intention to seek variations of bail conditions for Mamombe, Chimbiru and Marova.

The State wants to apply for the trio to surrender their passports in addition to the other standing bail conditions after it emerged that they were allegedly planning to skip the country.

The prosecution is expected to mount a full application today.

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