Zanu PF candidate dragged to court for disrupting rally

HARARE - A losing Zanu PF candidate for ward four in Epworth was dragged to court yesterday after he allegedly mobilised a group of youths to disrupt a meeting convened by a local councillor.

Kudakwashe Damson, from Overspill, appeared before Harare magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa facing charges of disrupting a public gathering by engaging in disorderly or riotous conduct intending to prevent the business which the meeting had been called for.

The 32-year-old contested against Murambidzi Tafireyi — who is also the Local Board chairman — for the right to represent Zanu PF in the Epworth by-elections held last year, but lost.

Prosecutor Sabastian Mutizirwa alleged that on February 12 this year, Tafireyi convened a meeting at KumaTank in Stopover, Epworth.

The court heard that Tafireyi wanted to show party members the approved layout plan for residential stands that had been processed for their benefit.

It was alleged that Tafireyi also invited Zalerah Makari, Epworth’s MP, to the meeting.

During the meeting, Damson — acting in common purpose with other Zanu PF youths who are still at large — allegedly hatched a plan to disrupt the meeting.

He reportedly used a Mercedes Benz lorry to ferry accomplices to the venue.

And as Makari was addressing the gathering, Damson and crew began shouting at the legislator, accusing her of being corrupt.

They reportedly shouted that Tafireyi was a thief and went on to praise Damson for allocating larger residential stands to the community.

Damson and his accomplices reportedly sang “Povo yaramba zvemadhisinyongoro” and “Hatipihwe order nemasaskamu” and allegedly prevented smooth flow of business.

It was further alleged that Damson began distributing copies of a petition against distribution of 200-square metre stands and also incited the gathering to reject the regularisation exercise.

The court heard that Tafireyi had to immediately call-off the meeting after realising that Damson and his accomplices’ behaviour would generate into violence.

Tafireyi reported the case to the police the following day, leading to Damson’s arrest.

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