Kwekwe MDC Alliance activists trial commence amid heavy police, army presence

By Staff Reporter

The trial of MDC Alliance activists in Kwekwe commenced with a heavy military and army presence seiging Kwekwe Magistrate Courts last week. 

The activists who are out on bail including two councillors were arrested in March this year facing charges of participating in an unsanctioned demonstration in which they denounced President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s rule.

The six activists who were in court are; councillors Melody Chingarande and Washington Moyo, Midlands provincial youth chairperson, Sekai Marashe, Lovemore Savanhu, Leonard Musemwa and Rodrick Nyamushosho.

They stand accused of participating in an anti-Mnangagwa demonstration in Mbizo 4,with intent to promote public violence.

Defence lawyer Reginald Chidawanyika confirmed to this publication that the commencement of the activist’ s trial kick started under abornormal circumstances. 

“The trial commenced on Thursday, were we made our presentations before the courts. However, there was unexplained high numbers of police officers and army around the court precints during the commencement of the trial,” Chidawanyika told this publication. 

The activists are expected to be back in court on 3 September. 

Meanwhile, Midlands youth chairperson Sekai Marashe said before the commencement of the trial they were rounded by riot police and ordered outside of the court.

 “We got rounded by riot police and army patanga when we were within the court’s awaiting the commencement of our trial. It took the intervention of one of the cops who told us to stay put. The action we gathered was caused after one of our sources told us that police thought we were going to demonstrate after the court session hence heavy military and police presence,” Marashe said after court.

She added that the incident happened when their lawyer was inside the court room preparing for papers. 

Meanwhile, MDC Alliance Midlands provincial Spokerperson Takavafira Zhou said the opposition supporters were under attack in Midlands. 

He explained that in Kwekwe members of the security sector drove away people who had come to show Solidarity with the activists. 

“Soldiers and riot police drove away other people who had turned up in solidarity with the hexillion on claims that the accused wanted to stage a demonstration after the hearing. The hearing was postponed to 3 September and the hexillion escorted from the court by soldiers and riot police to allegedly forestall a demo that the accused never intended to carry out,” Zhou said. 
Meanwhile, Zhou explained that another councillor Silas Mukaro was apprehended and briefly detained at Kwekwe Central for allegedly attending an unlawful meeting. “However, when police failed to exactly point to such unlawful meeting he had attended, he was released without a charge,” Zhou said. 

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