MDC youth leader acquitted

HARARE - MDC deputy national youth chairman Shakespear Mukoyi, accused of threatening to assault police officers during a rally, was yesterday acquitted of the charges.

He was represented by Gift Mtisi.

Mukoyi — charged with inciting public violence — was acquitted by Harare magistrate Nomsa Sabarauta after full trial.

Sabarauta ruled that the State had failed to prove a prima facie case against the 40-year-old before granting his application for discharge at the close of the State case.

His lawyer had argued that “in the present case, to put the accused person to his defence would be a disservice and wrong approach since the State through its witnesses had failed to lead incriminating evidence”.

“This was not an incitement nor a threat but more of a reminder of the constitutional duties of the police. The alleged words were a mere fabrication by the witnesses and a gross misinterpretation of what was actually said,” Mtisi said.

Prosecutor Desire Chidanire called constable Memory Zvenyika, who manned the rally, to the witness stand and said Mukuyu’s utterances made her uncomfortable.

“I was instructed to make sure the rally was conducted peacefully and I felt threatened when the accused person started saying he would assault police in uniform,” Zvenyika said.

However, Zvenyika confirmed during cross examination by Mtisi that Mukuyu did not incite public violence through his utterances.

Zvenyika was in the company of Munyaradzi Mutuzungari, manning the rally on the day.

Mutuzungari also confirmed that there was no threat of public violence following Mukuyu’s utterances.

According to court papers, on October 16 last year, the MDC made an application to hold a political rally at Mukandabhutsu Open Space in Msasa in Harare.

The rally was held on October 23 and Mukoyi allegedly said: “Kana mapurisa angotirova ngaachigara kuChikurubi Camp nekuti tikazomuona aine uniform achifamba-famba, tichamurovawo. (If police officers assault us, they must go and live at Chikurubi Camp because we will retaliate and assault every cop we will see walking around in uniform).

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