Zimbabwe: Three in Court Over Illegal Gathering

Senior Court reporter

THREE people yesterday appeared in court facing allegations of staging an illegal demonstration at Boka Auction Floors in Harare demanding the release of fellow Hopewell Chin'ono and Jacob Ngarivhume who were remanded in custody.

Chin'ono and Ngarivhume were arrested a fortnight ago and have since appeared in court facing allegations of tweeting messages allegedly aimed at inciting people to join illegal demonstrations.

Emmanuel Mukwemu, Trynos Hove and Petronella Sabuwu appeared before magistrate Mrs Victoria Mashamba charged with participating in a public gathering with intent to cause public violence.

Mukwemu, Hove and Sabuwu, through their lawyer Marufu Mandevere, complained that they were denied access to legal representation upon arrest and that Hove was denied a mask upon arrest, exposing him to coronavirus in the process

The three were not asked to plead to the charges and were remanded in custody to August 13 for their routine remand.

Mr Sebastian Mutizirwa, prosecuting, alleges that on Tuesday this week the three teamed up with 17 others who are still at large and decided to stage a demonstration.

The court heard that they went to Boka Auction Floors carrying placards inscribed "31 July independence day, Corruption must go, free our leader Jacob. #31 July, 31 July no turning on back, and Free Zimbabwe, Free Hopewell, Free Corruption".

After they allegedly staged the illegal demonstration, they then dispersed in different directions.

On Wednesday, police acted on a tip-off after receiving information to the effect that the three were at Mutema Bar in Hopely Zone 5 Shopping Centre, went there and identified Mukwemu from clothes he was wearing on the day of the demonstrations. Hove and Sabuwu were arrested yesterday.

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