Charges against MDC MP dropped

MUTARE - The State has withdrawn criminal nuisance charges against the MDC’s Dangamvura-Chikanga MP Arnold Tsunga and 48 of his supporters.

The top human rights lawyer’s charges were withdrawn before plea for “lack of evidence.”

Tsunga and his co-accused appeared before a Mutare magistrate yesterday.

“The matter was withdrawn before plea,” Tsunga’s defence lawyer Passmore Nyakureba of Maunga, Maanda and Associates who was assisting Tinoziva Bere of Bere Brothers, said.

“The State was alleging that they did so for want of evidence…they don’t have enough evidence to incriminate the accused persons.”

Tsunga and his supporters were arrested on July 20 and spent the night in police cells before they were released the next day after paying a $20 fine each.

Nyakureba had said then they only paid the fine under protest as Tsunga had been arrested as he “was taking his campaign team back home after campaigning throughout the day.”

Tsunga himself had said ferrying his campaign team after a day of doing door-to-door campaigns would “never be an offence” contesting that the police were being “used as an instrument of repression.”

“It was a purely illegal act to arrest innocent civilians who are going about their normal work especially in an electoral period,” Tsunga said then, even alleging that the police had extorted money from them by demanding that they pay the $20 fines.

“It’s extortion,” he said. “The police extorted money from us… We had to pay for our freedom and demand our rights later. The options were clear — to either spend three nights in jail or pay a fine and get released.

“The police were actively trying to cover their tracks after an illegal detention of people who were
going about their normal activities.”

Tsunga won the seat ahead of his fellow counterpart Giles Mutsekwa who came third  behind Zanu PF’s Milcah Reketai Duru with MDC’s Jona Msonza, Mavambo Kusile Dawn’s Fugamai Mawiure and independents Kuziwa Maundike and Didymus Machiri completing the seven-man race.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.