MDC members in court

HARARE - Three MDC party members who engaged in violence during the just-ended primary elections appeared in court on Tuesday.

John Katiyo, 44, Girisoti Mandere, 47, and Gift Chihambakwe, 50, appeared before Harare magistrate, Edwin Machera, charged with assault.

They were not asked to plead and were released on $100 bail each, pending trial. As part of their bail conditions Katiyo, Mandere and Chihambakwe were ordered to continue residing at their present addresses and not interfere with witnesses until the case is finalised.

Prosecutor Ropafadzo Bosch alleged that on Sunday, Katiyo and Mandere were conducting MDC primary elections for councillors at Fundo Primary School, Kuwadzana Phase 3 in Harare, when the complainant (name not supplied) approached Mandere and asked him to allow a party member identified as Mhashu to enter the polling station.

It was alleged that an argument ensued between the parties and Katiyo refused to allow Mhashu to enter the polling station.

He reportedly grabbed Mhashu by the collar and pushed him away before Mandere also joined in. They were later restrained by other members and the case was reported to the police, leading to their arrest.

The court heard that Chihambakwe was also at the polling station and assaulted Didymus Makochekanwa and Ronald Manjera by striking them on the face.

It was alleged that they had political differences.

The State has lined up independent witnesses to testify in the cases.

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