Court acquits 21 year-old man charged over shutdown protests

By Court Reporter

MBARE Magistrate Kudzai Zihove on Wednesday 10 July 2019 acquitted
Kudakwashe Nyanga, who had been on trial after he was arrested in
January and charged with public violence for allegedly participating
in an anti-government protest.

The 21 year-old Nyanga, who was represented by Gift Mtisi and Tinashe
Mundawarara of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, was arrested by
Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers on 15 January 2019 and charged
with public violence as defined in section 36(1)(a) of the Criminal
Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

During trial, prosecutors claimed that Nyanga unlawfully and forcibly
disturbed the peace, security or order of the public during an
anti-government demonstration held in January to protest against the
hike in fuel prices by burning tyres along Seke road in Harare and
throwing stones and other missiles at members of the public and at
some police officers who were manning Mbare Police Station.

But Magistrate Zihove on Wednesday 10 July 2019 discharged and
acquitted Nyanga at the close of the prosecution case after ruling
that the evidence led by state witnesses during trial was discredited.

Magistrate Zihove noted that none of the Zimbabwe Republic Police
officers who testified during Nyanga’s trial told the court why he was
shot while the arresting officer didn’t testify in court.