MDC Alliance MP charged with political violence

HARARE - Police on Thursday charged Costa Machingauta, an opposition MDC Alliance party legislator for Budiriro constituency with public violence for allegedly participating in protests staged over delays in announcing the results of harmonised elections.

Machingauta, who is represented by Tarisai Mutangi of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights was summoned to report at Law and Order Section at Harare Central Police Station, where he was charged with public violence as defined by section 36 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

ZRP officers alleged that Machingauta engaged in acts of violence in Harare’s Central Business District on Wednesday, August 1, together with some MDC Alliance supporters during a demonstration against the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s management of the harmonised elections held on July 30, which reportedly resulted in the destruction of property and left at least six people dead after they were shot by some members of the army.

Machingauta becomes the 32nd person to be charged with committing public violence during the elections protest following the arrest of Tendai Biti, one of the MDC Alliance party leaders, David Zvavamwe Shambare, Shadreck Mashayamombe, Tapiwa Joni, Ngonidzashe Makazhu, Michael Mheta, Simbarashe Mujeye, Judith Chacha, Lilian Mahosi, Anna Chezhira, Angeline Mukoki, Agatha Mubaiwa, Chancellor Nyamande, Livenice Kachana, Tichaona Daniel, Farai Nyamhunga, Mercy Mataramvura, Munyaradzi Chibanda, Samson Nerwande, Raymond Machakaire, Tapiwa Naume Khamu, Tendai Torerwa, Christopher Nikisi, Tonderai Chakona, Justin Mugashu, Simbarashe Zvobgo, Trymore Mubaiwa, Searchmore Mutegude, Kudakwashe Katunhu, Last Vambe and Jeff Chaitezvi, who are all out of custody on bail.

Meanwhile, Biti has also appeared at Harare Magistrates’ Courts, where his lawyers continued with the cross-examination of chief superintendent Jealous Nyabasa, who attempted to avoid answering some tough questions from the opposition political party leader’s legal practitioners.

Biti, who was arrested last week in Zambia and charged with contravening section 66 (A) (1) of the Electoral Act for allegedly announcing unofficial presidential results for the 2018 harmonised elections and with committing public violence as defined in section 36 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act is challenging his remand and the court’s jurisdiction saying he is improperly appearing before the court since he was abducted from Zambia by Zimbabwe authorities in defiance of a lawful High Court order issued in the neighbouring southern African country.

Biti returns to court today, where his lawyers will continue with cross examining Nyabasa, who reportedly arrested Biti.

Comments (1)

It hurt me a lot to see leaders or so called leaders call the innocent naive people to the street instead of using the courts. I was very proud of Zimbabweans behaviour during Mugabe recall protest. Nothing was damaged! But the protest of August 1 calls to question the character and morality of their leaders. Vendors property destroyed! Buildinvs and cars vandalised! People in taxi rank beaten because their area majority supported ZANU-PF. The leader of ZEC, A WOMAN, SHOULD BE RAPPED AND KILLED according to their songs! The HQ of ZANU- PF was to be burnt!! Businness were suppossed to close by force! Was that necessarry?? I saw police that was expected to controll them clapping hands for them on my Youtube. Did that happen or youtube just fabricated the picture! Then six people lost their lives! The soldiers are blamed! The rulling party is blamed! ZEC is blamed! MDC ALLIANCE is praised at least by the WEST and HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYERS! Nothing is said about the call to the street! Nothing is said about those beaten! Nothing is said about damaged property! Nothing is said about the abusive words levelled at the leader of ZEC. If those beaten by protesters were beaten by police, Human Rights groups would have condemned it. They are quite because theirs are not Human Rights or their funders only see Human Rights viliation from government and rulling party?? Zimbabweans, like all Africans are relatives, so politics which is foreign to us must not divide us!

Ntshengedzeni Sikhwivhilu - 18 August 2018

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