Zimbabwe: Opposition Lawmaker Summoned to Court Over 2018 Elections

16 November 2020

Opposition MDC-Alliance party legislator for Budiriro constituency Costa Machingauta has been summoned to stand trial on Monday 16 November 2020 at Harare Magistrates Court for allegedly inciting his party supporters to reject and protest against the result of the 2018 elections, which were won by the ruling ZANU PF party.

Hon. Machingauta, who is represented by Jeremiah Bamu of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, will answer to charges of incitement to commit public violence as defined in section 187(1)(a) as read with section 36(1)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

Authorities claim that Hon. Machingauta unlawfully and intentionally communicated messages to his MDC-Alliance party supporters on 1 August 2018 at OK supermarket in Harare's Budiriro high-density suburb with the intention to persuade or induce other people to commit public violence.

The opposition legislator, authorities say, told his MDC-Alliance party supporters that; "Vakomana tabva kure tichibirwa tingadai takatonga nyika kare hatingamiriri kuramba tichibirwa. Vanhu varipano toenda ku town kana tichifa tofira mu town macho, which literally means; "We have tolerated electoral fraud for a long time which has failed us to assume power and govern this country. Let us all go to town and if need be we will all have to die."

Following Hon. Machingauta's alleged utterances, some unidentified people heeded his request and committed some acts of public violence in Harare's central business district on 1 August 2018.

Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)

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