Zimbabwe: 11 Protesters Challenge Arrest

3 August 2020

MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzai Mahere, playwright and filmmaker Tsitsi Dangarembga and nine other political activists arrested in Harare over July 31 illegal demonstrations, are contesting their arrest saying the police did not formally warn and caution them of the offence of violating Covid-19 regulations.

Mahere, Dangarembga, Paul Besa, Julie Gabriel Barnes, Chamunorwa Phillip Ndengu, Tinotenda Muskwe, Tinashe Murapata, Jessica Drury, Nyasha Musandu, Josee Lotter and Simon Drury appeared before Harare regional magistrate Mr Ngoni Nduna charged with participating in public gathering with intent to cause public violence.

They were also charged with violating the Public Health Act (Covid-19 Prevention, Containment and Prevention). The 11 were remanded to September 18, 2020 on $5 000 bail each.

As part of the bail conditions, they were ordered to surrender their passports and report every Friday at their nearest police stations.

"The accused were not cautioned on their second offence which is violating the Covid-19 regulations upon their arrest.

"The charge was preferred against them when they were preparing to come to court. We would like to place the State on notice that on the next day of appearance we will challenge their placement on remand," they said through their lawyers.

They also notified the State that they would challenge their placement on remand in respect of charges of participating in a gathering with intent to cause public violence.

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