Zvorwadza faces 3 trials in one day

HARARE - Militant chairperson of the National Vendors Union of Zimbabwe (Navuz) Sten Zvorwadza will on October 5, attend three different court hearings, as the State seeks to nail him.

At 8am Zvorwadza will appear before Harare magistrate Tendai Rusinahama for continuation of a case he is accused of threatening to burn Rainbow Towers Hotel during a demonstration against Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko’s prolonged hotel stay.

He will move to another court at 11am to answer to charges of disorderly conduct emanating from a January 2013, incident before he is joined by 13 of his members in court six on similar charges.

Prosecutor Sabastian Mutizirwa notified the court yesterday that investigations on the 13 vendors, including Zvorwadza were complete and that October 5, was the trial date.

According to court records, on July 16, Zvorwadza was in the company of a group of vendors when they decided to demonstrate against alleged corrupt tendencies by municipal police officers.

The vendors were bitter that municipal cops looted their wares and shared them among themselves, and in some instances would demand bribes to release the confiscated goods.

It is alleged that Zvorwadza and his members gathered at Town House in Harare holding placards that read: “Stop harassing women and children”, “Stop confiscating our goods” and “Zvemadhisinyongoro hatichada.”

The court heard that they were dispersed by police officers.

However, the court also heard that when the vendors realised that police officers had left the scene, they reportedly regrouped and returned to Town House led by Zvorwadza, whereupon the group reportedly demanded to see the Town Clerk or city mayor.

The court heard that the vendors reportedly tried to force their way into Town House but were restrained.

This did not stop them from singing and blocking passage for people who wanted to enter the building and conduct their business.

According to the State, when police officers returned to the scene and advised the group to leave, the vendors reportedly joined their hands together tightly, leaving the law enforcement agents at sixes and sevens.

On the ‘‘hotel’’ case it is alleged that on June 26, Zvorwadza was in the company of three suspected journalists and four other accomplices who are still at large.

The court heard that they were in possession of video cameras when Zvorwadza took a seat in the foyer and began shouting that he wanted to have breakfast.

Hotel management informed the police about Zvorwadza’s conduct before he was ordered to leave the place.

Zvorwadza reportedly refused to leave the hotel and instead shouted “you police are always disturbing my peace and abusing me. I am eating my money (sic) but you are after me.”

It was further alleged that Zvorwadza closed the main entrance from inside and demanded that police officers leave the hotel to pave way for their demonstration, arguing it was a constitutional right.

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