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Pastor, Mukoyi and mourners wallow in detention
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)

May 23, 2011

27 mourners including a Pastor, who were arrested and charged with public violence last week, on Monday 23 May 2011 spent their fifth night in detention after Mbare Magistrate Reward Kwenda postponed his ruling on their bail application to Tuesday 24 May 2011.

Pastor Dominic Dziwedziwe (36) of Kuwadzana, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Harare Province Vice-chairperson Shakespeare Mukoyi and 25 other mourners appeared in court on Monday 23 May 2011 for their initial remand, where their lawyers Gift Mtisi of Musendekwa and Mtisi Legal Practitioners and Tarisai Mutangi of Donsa-Nkomo and Mutangi Legal Practitioners, who are members of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights applied for their admission to bail.

In his bail application Mtisi argued that his clients were mourners who were travelling to Kuwadzana high density suburb after burying their colleague at the graveyard.

But Magistrate Kwenda postponed the bail hearing to Tuesday 24 May 2011 to allow State Prosecutor Sidom Chinzete to respond to the bail application after he indicated that he was not in a position to file some submissions in response to the bail application, although he indicated that he would oppose bail.

Chinzete alleged that the 27, Charged with contravening section 36 (1) (a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 for public violence were arrested on Thursday 19 May 2011 while coming from burying the body of an MDC activist Jack Ndeketeya at Granville cemetery, who had passed away early last week.

He alleged that the mourners alighted from their vehicles at Boka Tobacco Auction Floors and assaulted some farmers and other people by throwing stones at them and tore some ZANU PF posters and banners pasted at the tobacco auction floors.

The prosecutor accused the mourners of throwing stones at some tobacco farmers who were waiting to sell their tobacco crop at the auction floors forcing them to flee for safety while leaving their goods at a flea market unattended.

Chinzete claimed that the mourners stole clothes, a mobile phone handset and a sim card valued at $339 before they were arrested by the police near Kuwadzana suburb.

Police seized the five vehicles which were ferrying the mourners to Kuwadzana suburb and intend to use them as exhibits together with MDC regalia, which include a red and white cap, a red vuvuzela and a wrapping cloth.

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