BY BRENNA MATENDERE
MDC legislators Lloyd Mukapiko (Redcliff) and Settlement Chikwinya (Mbizo), who are facing charges of attempting to subvert a constitutionally-elected government, have been slapped with new charges.
They were first arrested on January 15 after the fuel price hike protests that turned violent facing allegations of addressing people in Kwekwe on January 12 and urging them to engage in violent protests so as to subvert the government. They went on to languish at Kwekwe Remand Prison for 19 days after being denied bail by a local magistrate, only to be granted liberty at the Bulawayo High Court.
The pair now faces fresh charges of public violence. In an interview, Chikwinya confirmed the fresh charges and said they are contained in summons delivered to them when they went to Kwekwe Magistrates’ Court on Monday for routine remand on the first charges of subverting the government.
“We received the summons when we went to the courts for routine remand. In the summons, the State alleges that after we had addressed people on January 12 inciting them to subvert the government, we went on to commit another crime on January 14 of inciting public violence by telling people to shut down Kwekwe business,” he said.
According to the summons, the two MPs will appear in court on June 3 facing the new charge while the first case was deferred to June 28.
The duo’s lawyer, Wellington Tinashe Davira, said his clients were denying the charges and they would seek acquittal.
“I can confirm that my clients have been pressed with fresh charges. They are false. I will give a conclusive comment on the weaknesses of the State case when I have finished perusing the State papers,” he said.
Mkoba MP Amos Chibaya (MDC) and his Chiwundura counterpart Livingstone Chimina were also arrested in January and slapped with similar charges at the Gweru courts. However, they are now free after being cleared of both charges and any violation of the law.