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Treason charges against Munyaradzi Gwisai & others - Index of articles
throws out State appeal against Gwisai
January 28, 2013
(AG)'s bid to have International
Socialist Organisation (ISO) co-ordinator Munyaradzi Gwisai
and his five co-accused slapped with a stiffer penalty for conspiracy
to commit public violence, hit a snag last week after High Court
judge Justice Charles Hungwe dismissed the State's appeal
for lack of merit.
In March last
year, Harare magistrate Kudakwashe Jarabini ordered Gwisai and his
colleagues - Antoinette Choto, Tatenda Mombeyarara, Edson Chakuma,
Hopewell Gumbo and Welcome Zimuto - to pay $500 fine or spend 10
months in prison following their conviction on charges of conspiracy
to commit public violence.
they were each sentenced to 24 months in prison of which 12 months
were suspended on condition of good behaviour.
12 months were set aside on condition that each of the activists
would perform 420 hours of community service.
however, appealed against the sentence and their appeal is still
But the State
filed a counter appeal, saying the sentence was too light.
The State argued
that the activists were supposed to have received effective jail
opinion, the test to be applied when considering an application
for leave to appeal under Section 62 (1) of the Magistrates'
Court Act is whether the AG has a reasonable prospect of success
on appeal. If he has, then leave to appeal should be granted.
has not, the leave to appeal should be refused.
the above principles to the present application, I am satisfied
that the AG's appeal does not enjoy any prospect of success,"
ruled Justice Hungwe.
He said the
State's application for leave to appeal was not timeously
made as stipulated by the law.
He further said
the AG's grounds of appeal failed to encompass matters set
out under the Magistrates Act.
Gwisai and his
co-accused persons were arrested in February 2011, together with
44 other social and human rights activists, but the other 39 were
later released for lack of evidence.
The State claimed
then that the activists were plotting to destabilise the government
after they watched video footages of uprisings in North Africa that
saw the deposition of long-serving rulers.
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