Court acquits Harare councillor over anti-govt protest as Chitungwiza man gets convicted

A ZIMBABWEAN Court on Friday 22 February 2019 acquitted Denford
Ngadziore, a Councillor for Harare City Council, who had been on trial
after he was arrested and charged with committing public violence.
Ngadziore, the Councilor for Ward 16 in Harare’s Mabelreign suburb was
arrested on 16 February 2019 by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP)
officers and charged with inciting public violence as defined in
section 187 and committing public violence in contravention of section
36(1)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
During trial, prosecutors alleged that Ngadziore, who was represented
by Tinomuda Shoko of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), went
around some high-density suburbs in Harare namely Glenview, Budiriro,
Kuwadzana among other areas on Monday 14 January 2019 inciting people
to engage in acts of public violence during an anti-government
protest.
But Harare Magistrate Victoria Mashamba on Friday 22 February 2019
acquitted Ngadziore after ruling that there was no evidence tendered
during trial to prove that the Ward 16 Councillor had committed the
offence.
Magistrate Mashamba stated that state witnesses who testified during
trial lied, changed statements and kept giving contradicting evidence.
Meanwhile, Chitungwiza Magistrate Nyasha Vhitorini on Friday 22
February 2019 convicted Richard Mutswiri Mutiti, a Chitungwiza
resident, who was arrested by ZRP officers and charged inciting public
violence in terms of section 187(1)(a) of the of the Criminal Law
(Codification and Reform) Act.
Prosecutors charged that Mutiti, who was represented by Shoko and
Idirashe Chikomba of ZLHR, incited people to commit public violence
and encouraged them to loot goods from some shops in Chitungwiza.
Mutiti will be sentenced on Monday 25 February 2019.
At Mbare Magistrates Court, Magistrate Kudzai Zihove on Wednesday 20
February 2019 acquitted nine Mbare high-density suburb residents, who
had been on trial for committing public violence during the shutdown
protests held in January 2019.
In acquitting the Mbare residents, Magistrate Zihove ruled that the
state had failed to prove a prima facie case against the accused
persons to justify putting them to their defence.
Seven of the Mbare residents return to court on Monday 25 February
2019 for continuation of trial as they have been put to their defence.