MDC cadre gets justice in death

HARARE - A Harare court has sentenced a Chipangano thug to six years in prison for violently disrupting the funeral wake of Vimbai Mbisva, a community leader and MDC founding member.

Modcay Svosvera had insulted Mbisva, a staunch MDC supporter and human rights defender in death, by stoning the deceased’s funeral wake at house number 16 234, 32rd Close in Sunningdale 2.

Mbisva died on November 26, last year at his Budiriro home in Harare. Mbisva had been very active in the drafting of a new constitution since June 2010, and was part of the MDC delegation at the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference held in September in Harare.

Mbisva was survived by his wife, Tendai Mugauri and four children, Tafadzwa, Vimbai, Nokutenda and Mazvita
Mourners gathered at the home owned by his mum, Janet — who is the complainant in this case — in Sunningdale were stoned midnight by the self-confessed Chipangano mob.

It was the State’s case that on the night of November 28, Svosvera and his co-accused attacked mourners after accusing them of supporting Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC.

 The thugs hurled large stones that landed on top of the roof, shattering asbestos sheets and windows.

The damage was estimated at $356. Asbestos sheets at the adjacent house were also damaged, with the destruction next door valued at $216.

Some of the mourners were injured in the barbaric attack, including Stephen Dalaina and Faiton Mupakami, both of Mufakose; and Mbisva’s mother.

The matter was reported to Braeside Police Station and to the government watchdog, the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic), which has steadfastly pursued the case.

Svovera, who pleaded guilty to the charge of political violence when he appeared at the Mbare Magistrates Courts on December 4, for trial, was convicted for breaching Section 36(1)(e) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

The trial ran until February 4, when the stiff sentence was handed.

Svosvera was caged for six years of which one year was suspended for five years on condition the accused does not, during the period, commit any offence involving violence or breach of peace.

A further half year was suspended on condition that Svosvera restitutes Mbisva’s mother $553 for the damage done to her home and her neighbour.

Underlying tensions between Zanu PF and MDC in hotbeds such as Sunningdale and Mbare are often ignited by such issues concerning key figures from either side of the political divide, as residual elements in the Chipangano militia continue to unfurl violence as rulers watch with alarm the dastardly handiwork of the thugs.

The magistrate said the sentence must be deterrent to prevent a potential repeat of such cases. - Gift Phiri, Political Editor

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