FIVE MDC Alliance youth members, who are being accused of violating COVID-19 regulations after they held a protest against government’s alleged failure to cushion the public during the lockdown, have filed a court application to have their charges dropped.
Legislator Joanah Mamombe, Stanley Manyenga, Cecilia Revai Chimbiri, Lovejoy Chitengu and Makomborero Haruziviishe appeared before magistrate Taurai Manuere yesterday.
The State, represented by Tafara Chirambira, had asked the court to delete the names of MDC Alliance youth chairperson Obey Sithole and Netsai Marova, who had a warrant of arrest issued against them after failing to appear in court. Chirambira said they wanted separate trials for the two so that the court could proceed with the available activists.
The defence led by Alec Muchadehama, Gift Mtisi and Jeremiah Bamu, consented to the separation of trial, but demanded new State papers without the names of those on a warrant of arrest.
Chimbiri told the court that she understood the charges as a political and not a criminal matter.
Muchadehama told the court that they intended to file an application for exception because the charges they were facing did not disclose the offence.
He said he would file a written submission on Friday this week.
The State, however, elected to submit their response on Wednesday next week and Manuere will deliver his ruling on October 8.
The accused persons were arrested in Warren Park in May last year after staging a protest allegedly in violation of lockdown regulations.
Source – Newsday