By Fortunate Gora
Sixteen people have been jailed for engaging in violent demonstrations organised by MDC-Alliance and its associates last month.
The demonstrations turned out to be political, with MDC-Alliance supporters looting and destroying property in Chinhoyi, Kadoma, Makonde, Zvimba and other areas in Mashonaland West.
In Chinhoyi, the rioters broke into several shops at Gadzema Shopping Centre where they looted goods worth thousands of dollars.
Twelve hooligans involved in the violence in Chinhoyi have been convicted at the magistrates’ court, while another four from Zvimba District have been thrown behind bars.
According to court papers from Chinhoyi district public prosecutor’s office, among those jailed are Michael Dhaka, Brian Chidoma, Lovemore Machini, Sabina Tasiyana, Dennis Kasinahama, Benius Mupoperi, Chad Chikwehwa and Nyarai Marako who were sentenced to four years in jail each.
The courts suspended a year of each sentence on condition that the jailed do not commit similar offences in the next five years.
In similar cases, Chinhoyi magistrate Mr Felix Mawadze slapped another pair — Tinashe Matanana and Tafadzwa Kachitwaba — with two-year jail sentences before suspending six months each on condition of good behaviour.
Another pair, Talent Mpofu and Shadreck Takawira, who were also convicted and sentenced to a year imprisonment will also serve an effective six months in prison for committing a similar offence.
Another quartet of Tinashe Matanana (35), Tafadzwa Kachitimba (27), Patrick Mutongerwa (35) and Tawanda Gombamwa all from Zvimba district were also caged for 18 months each.