Zim court acquits slogan-chanting juveniles and residents

CHITUNGWIZA Magistrate Gladys Moyo on Thursday 17 February 2022 set free some juveniles and residents who had been on trial after they were arrested last year for allegedly encouraging people to register to vote and chanting opposition party slogans during a procession.


The seven Chitungwiza residents namely Gibson Chizunza aged 18 years,
Tinashe Gutsa aged 22 years, Never Chigada aged 32 years, Josephine
Mundiya aged 34 years, Catherine Changaya aged 38 years, Tanatswa
Kapfidza aged 16 years and Michael Munjanja aged 17 years, were
arrested on 16 October 2021 and charged with participating in a
gathering with intent to promote public violence, breaches of peace or
bigotry as defined in Section 37(1)(a) of the Criminal Law
(Codification and Reform) Act.

During trial, prosecutors accused the seven juveniles and residents,
who were represented by Tapiwa Muchineripi of Zimbabwe Lawyers for
Human Rights of conducting a procession along Hadzinanhanga road in
Unit D high-density suburb in Seke heading towards Unit J high-density
suburb in Seke while wearing white t-shirts inscribed “Register to
vote for change” in front and “Ngaapinde hake mukomana” at the back
and chanting an opposition party slogan “Chinja Maitiro Chinja”.

But on Thursday 17 February 2022, Magistrate Moyo discharged the seven
Chitungwiza residents at the close of the prosecution case after
ruling that prosecutors failed to lead any credible evidence during
trial to satisfy the essential elements of the alleged offence.

Magistrate Moyo also ruled that no eye witnesses who saw the accused
persons allegedly committing the offence and neither was there any
evidence led from people whose peace was reportedly disturbed or whose
free movement was allegedly hindered during the residents’ procession.

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