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Prison Officer Remanded Over Shutdown Protests

A Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) officer has been arrested for allegedly conniving with suspected hooligans who participated in the violent protests that rocked Gweru, leaving a trail of destruction.

Joseph Njolomoli (29) appeared before Provincial Magistrate Ms Charity Maphosa facing allegations of participating and gathering with intent to promote public violence, breaches of peace or bigotry. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was remanded in custody to today after witnesses failed to turn up.

It was the State case that on January 15, Njolomoli, who is a prison officer stationed at Whawha Prison Complex, together with other protestors convened a meeting at Mkoba 5 bus terminus with the intention of forcibly disturbing the peace, security and invading the rights of other people.

The court heard that on the said date and at around 10am, Njolomoli allegedly connived with other unknown suspects who are still at large to obstruct and endanger the free movement of people and traffic in pursuant of the national shutdown protests scheduled for January 14 to 16.

It was alleged that Njolomoli, who was among a group of protesters, blocked Mkoba 5 turn-off using logs, stones and tyres.

The court heard that Njolomoli was identified by a neighbour while participating in the demonstrations and instructing other protesters to block the road and burn tyres.

The court heard that residents informed the ZPCS who then sent three officers to apprehend him and they handed him over to the police.

Njolomoli is being represented by lawyer Mr Reginald Chidawanyika of Chitere Chidawanyika Legal Practitioners.

Source : The Herald

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