Zimbabwe: Opposition Leader Ngarivhume Appeals Against Four Year Jail Sentence - High Court Reserves Judgement

JUDGEMENT has been reserved in a matter jailed Transform Zimbabwe leader, Jacob Ngarivhume is seeking bail pending appeal against his conviction and sentencing.

Ngarivhume is accused of inciting public violence; using his Twitter handle to convene the 31st July 2020 nationwide anti-government protests.

In an earlier court appearance, Ngarivhume disowned the alleged Twitter account.

In April, he was convicted and sentenced to four years imprisonment. He will however, serve 3 years effective after part of his sentence was suspended conditionally.

High Court judge Justice Pisirayi Kwenda reserved his judgement indefinitely after hearing arguments by Ngarivhume through his lawyer, Lovemore Madhuku.

Madhuku argued that the magistrate who convicted and sentenced his client erred in finding him guilty in an offence he had not committed.

Jacob Ngarivhume convicted for July 2020 anti-govt protests; awaits sentencing

The lawyer also said it was wrong for the lower court to sentence him as if he had committed violence.

"We suggest that he pays ZW$500 000 bail, which is half a million, and quite a substantial amount, " Madhuku said.

Outside court, Madhuku told journalists that he is confident the application will be granted.

"We have made a clear argument that he should not have been convicted. In any event, even if the conviction was to be upheld, sentence was excessive," said Madhuku

"We are very convinced that his application is going to be upheld, especially looking at the submissions we have made," he said.

In sentencing him, the lower court took into consideration that Ngarivhume "is a first offender" adding that "a fine or suspended sentence would not deter further offenders, a sentence must be meaningful.

"Therefore; the sentence that would be appropriate would be as follows: 48 months of which 12 months are suspended."

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