Tajamuka/Sesijikile spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi, who together with his two co-accused were facing charges of criminal nuisance after protesting against the introduction of bond notes last year, was yesterday acquitted of the charges by a Harare magistrate.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Mkwananzi was being jointly charged with Mehluli Dube and deputy political commissar of Viva Zimbabwe Kudakwashe Manjonjo.
Harare magistrate Nomsa Sabarauta acquitted the trio after a full trial.
In her ruling, the magistrate said the State witnesses, who were all police officers, failed to prove that Mkwananzi, Dube and Manjonjo indeed committed the offences as had been alleged.
She further ruled that the State had failed to bring evidence of the T-shirts and placards to prove that the trio engaged in street protests.
The acquittal came about after defence lawyer Obey Shava, told the court that his clients were arrested as a result of ignorance by the State which disregarded the country’s Constitution which states that every Zimbabwean has a right to demonstrate with a view to influence or change policies. Shava had told court that the allegations contained in the charge sheet were exactly what the Constitution of Zimbabwe entitled people, but due to the State’s ignorance, demonstrating was now a crime.
Allegations against the trio had been that on November 28 last year, Mkwananzi, Dube and Manjonjo unlawfully gathered at the corner of Rezende Street and Jason Moyo Avenue in Harare, while wearing T-shirts inscribed Tajamuka, Enough is Enough, Citizens Class Action and Petition, No to Bond Notes and #Hatichada and #Hatichatya.
The State had further alleged they took turns to address the gathering of about 20 people, inciting them to shun the introduction of bond notes and alleged corruption by government officials while at the same time disturbing peace.
Desire Chidanire appeared for the State.