National flag adorning legislator set free over electoral reforms protest

MUTARE Magistrate Langton Mukwengi on Thursday 13 October 2016 set free Hon. Trevor Saruwaka, the Mutasa Central constituency legislator, after the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) failed to furnish him with a trial date for a matter in which he was arrested last month and charged for allegedly participating in an anti-government protest.

Hon. Trevor Saruwaka

Hon. Trevor Saruwaka

Magistrate Mukwengi removed Hon. Saruwaka from remand after prosecutor Fletcher Karombe of the NPA failed to provide the opposition MDC-T political party legislator, who was represented by Rangarirai Mubata of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, with a trial date for a matter in which the 41 year-old lawmaker was arrested in September for allegedly participating in an anti-government protest demanding the implementation of electoral reforms.

Magistrate Mukwengi ordered the State to put its house in order first and to proceed by issuing summons against the MDC-T legislator, who is out of custody on $250 bail, if it intends to pursue the prosecution of Hon. Saruwaka.

The Mutasa Central legislator was arrested by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers in Mutare in Manicaland province on Saturday 17 September 2016 and charged with contravening Section 37 (a) (i) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly participating in a gathering with intent to promote public violence, breaches of the peace or bigotry.

The NPA had claimed that Hon. Saruwaka participated in an illegal demonstration held in the eastern border town by some MDC-T party supporters numbering between 20 to 30 including MDC-T Manicaland Senator David Chimhini.

The NPA charged that Hon. Saruwaka’s actions disturbed the peace, security and order of the public, a  charge that he denied in his warned and cautioned statement recorded at Mutare Central Police Station, where he was detained after he was arrested. Hon. Saruwaka indicated that he was alone when he was arrested by ZRP officers and in all likelihood, for being a known MDC-T legislator and adorning a flag associated with #ThisFlag protest campaign.

Post published in: Featured

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *