Sentencing was expected yesterday after the Magistrate listened to both the defense and prosecution in mitigation and aggravation. In mitigation, the defense counsel argued that the six had careers and five of them had families. He also argued that the said conspiracy had not succeeded. In aggravation however, the prosecutor urged the Magistrate to give a deterrent sentence to warn other would-be offenders. He also argued that although the conspiracy had not succeeded, there was sufficient intent on the part of the defendants.
The six have been sentenced to twenty-four months wholly suspended. Twelve months were suspended for five years on condition that they don’t commit a similar offence. The other twelve months have been suspended on condition that they pay a US $500 fine and perform four hundred and twenty hours of community service in government institutions. Fines should be paid by March 26 and they will commence their community service on March 31. Welcome will be doing his community service at Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital. However, defense lawyer Mr. Aleck Muchadehama has given notice to appeal both conviction and sentence at the high court.
The six’s charges arose from a members’ meeting they had on February 19 last year as part of the International Socialist Orgarnisation [ISO]. Originally they were forty-six people arrested and forty were released after three weeks of incomprehensible prison conditions that also included torture.
Initially they were charged with Treason and subversion of constitutional government which was dropped preferring four alternative charges instead. They were charged with the crime of Conspiracy to commit public violence as defined in section 188 as read with section 36 of the Criminal Law (codification and Reform) Act[Chapter 9:23] which they were found guilty of . Inciting public violence as defined in section 187 as read with section 36 of the Criminal Law (codification and Reform) Act[Chapter 9:23]Or, Alternatively, Participating in gathering with intent to promote public violence, breeches of peace or bigotry as defined in section 37(1)(a) of the Criminal Law (codification and Reform) Act[Chapter 9:23]Or, Alternatively Participating with intent to promote public violence, breach of peace or bigotry as defined in section (1) (c) of the Criminal Law (codification and Reform) Act [Chapter 9:23] which they were acquitted.
Prosecuting was Mr. Edmore Nyazamba and the defense lawyer was Mr. Aleck Muchadehama.Post published in: News