Weekly Case Tracker—March 26 to March 30

Gweru Activist Freed:

One Gweru activist Shannon Moyo appeared on the 26th of March before a Gweru Magistrate. He was being charged with malicious damage to property and the charge was dropped by the state after going to court since August last year. Initially the activist was arrested with two other activists, Cozet Chirinda and Tryvine Musokeri and these two were discharged after the state failed to charge them due to lack of evidence.

Application for stay of community service dismissed, Zim Six to start Community service:

A Harare magistrate, Mr. Kudakwashe Jarabini has ruled that Welcome Zimuto, and five civic society activists Munyaradzi Gwisai, Hopewell Gumbo, Antoneta Choto, Tatenda Mombeyarara and Edson Chakuma should perform community service while they wait for the High Court to hear their appeal against both conviction and sentence. The six were sentenced to twenty-four months in custody of which twelve months were suspended for five years on condition that they don’t commit a similar offence. The other twelve months were suspended on condition that they pay a US$500 fine and perform four hundred and twenty hours of community service at their nearest government institution. Magistrate Kudakwashe Jarabini on March 19 found the six guilty on charges 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]. The six had argued that It would be prejudice should their appeal be granted since the appeal process takes long and the grounds of their appeal are highly prospective of an overturn in the high court. The six also felt that the state would not suffer any prejudice since even if their appeal is thrown out; they will still go for the community service. The March 30 ruling means that Welcome and five others started their community service the following day. Zimuto, a former Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) Deputy Secretary General will be doing his community service at Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital

Trial of Five Masvingo Activists Continues:

Five Masvingo student activists, Brighton Ramusi, Prosper Tiringindi, Zivanai Muzorodzi, Godfrey Kurauone and Brian Chimwayi appeared in court on the 26th and 29th of March before a Masvingo Magistrate for continuation of their trial. They were facing charges of public violence which were later changed to assault as defined in section 89 of the Criminal Law (codification and Reform) Act (Chapter 9:23). On the 29th of March, Arnold Batirai testified as a witness for the defense and the case will continue on the 5th of April when he will be cross examined by the state.

Their case emanated from challenging failure by Masvingo Polytechnic College authorities to refund students who enrolled for a tourism program that suffered a still birth. After initially advertising the introduction of this department and accepting payment from students, the authority have now made an about turn by scrapping plans to have the department and seems to be uninterested in refunding the students

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