The four BA officials namely Mmeli Dube, Butholezwe Kgosi Nyathi, Nthombiyezansi Mabunda Tozana and Thulani Moyo had been on trial since last month after they were arrested on Saturday 28 June 2014 and charged with contravening Section 25 (1) (b) of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) for allegedly failing to notify the regulatory authority of a public meeting held in the resort town.
But Magistrate Sheron Rosimani on Thursday 21 August 2014 set free Dube, the Research, Information and Advocacy Officer, Nyathi, the Senior Programmes Officer, Tozana, the Community Organiser and Moyo, who were represented by Lizwe Jamela of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights after ruling that the State represented by Takunda Ndovori of the National Prosecuting Authority had failed to establish a prima facie case against the four human rights defenders.
Magistrate Rosimani ruled that the meeting held in the resort town of Victoria Falls was merely of an educational nature where those who attended did not discuss anything of a political nature.
The ruling by Magistrate Rosimani comes barely a month after High Court Judge Justice Charles Hungwe interdicted the police from banning some disgruntled National Railways of Zimbabwe employees from staging protests against non-payment of their salaries early this month. The police had banned NRZ employees affiliated to the Zimbabwe Railway Artisans Union, the Railway Association of Engineman and the Railway Association of Yard Operating Staff from staging protests on Saturday 02 August 2014 in Bulawayo, Harare, Gweru and Mutare to demand the payment of their salaries.
But Justice Hungwe ruled that the purported ban of the demonstrations by the police was unlawful and a violation of Section 58 and 59 of the Constitution and was of no legal basis.Post published in: News