Nera protesters dragged to court

HARARE - Five National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) suspected protesters who were apprehended during a demonstration in Dzivaresekwa over the weekend were dragged to court yesterday.

They are being charged with participating in a gathering with intent to promote public violence, breach peace or bigotry.

The five — Cosmas Chakaoma, 27, Itai Marowero, 35, Denias Mutenha, 32, Wellington Mackson, 36, Aleck Chikwenya, 49 — appeared before Harare magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti-Guuriro.

They were represented by Gift Mtisi of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and were released on $500 bail each.

As part of the bail conditions, the accused were ordered to continue residing at their present addresses, not to interfere with witnesses and report once every week at CID Law and Order.

Chakaoma and Marowero were remanded to October 3, while Mutenha, Mackson and Chikwenya will be back in the dock on October 4.

Prosecutor Nancy Chandakaona alleged that on September 17, this year, the five were acting in cahoots with their accomplices who are still at large and gathered at Dzivaresekwa 4 Shopping Centre.

They allegedly intended to carry out a demonstration under the Nera banner.

The court heard that the protesters disturbed peace and free movement of people at the shopping centre because of their unlawful gathering.

Chakaoma and his accomplices allegedly held placards inscribed ‘‘Enough is enough’’, ‘‘Reforms izvezvi ema election’’, ‘‘Mugabe must go now’’ and ‘‘Electoral reforms now’’.

They reportedly blocked traffic movement making noise as they shouted threatening messages.

Police officers were deployed to monitor the situation and moved in to disperse the crowd.

When the protesters noticed the police, they fled in different directions before Chakaoma and Marowero were arrested.

The court heard that Mutenha, Mackson and Chikwenya were stationed at Dzivaresekwa 1 Shopping Centre, also intending to stage a demonstration.

They were allegedly arrested while attempting to flee from the scene.

Comments (1)

Surely holding placards written "Reforms izvezvi" should not attract a bail of $500 dollars and worsestill stringent bail conditions.It crystal clear that the judge erred in that regard,even sabhuku we kwa Dotito could have handled the case better than that.A rapist is given $50 bail and an innocent citizen is given $500 bail for demanding what is rightfully theirs.Don't zanunise the courts pliz

Janana wa Bikaz - 22 September 2016

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