Gwisai Vows to Fight Dictatorship in Zimbabwe

Gwisai, the International Socialist Organisation (ISO) head was jointly charged with Antoinette Choto, Welcome Zimuto, Eddison Chakuma, Tatenda Mombeyarara and Hopewell Gumbo.

Gwisai described the country’s judiciary as a “shame” after they were fined $500 and that they must do 420 hours of community service.

“The dictatorship is shaking, it is not yet fallen and therefore the struggle must continue. The struggle will continue, this is a temporary reprieve. We are going to be back in the trenches,” Gwisai said after the court sentenced the six activists.

“Their real aim was to put us in (to jail us) as an example ahead of their clear objective and agenda of stealing yet another election. What we have shown them is that we cannot be stopped. Enough is enough, the struggle continues. Aluta continua.”

Another activist  Antonette Choto said :”This is a major step forward for the working class of Zimbabwe. We want to say that the struggle against poverty and against dictatorship continues.”

Hopewell Gumbo said they have been on trial for “questioning” the legitimacy of the unity government of President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai which has been in charge in the country through a political agreement by the main political parties.

“We have been on trial for questioning the legitimacy and questioning the current dispensation in terms of running and leading this country, “Gumbo said.

“We have been on trial for questioning the brutality the people of Zimbabwe are seeing through their day to day lives. This is just a phase in a permanent struggle for the liberation of the people of Zimbabwe and it is going forward.”

Gwisai and five other rights activists facing charges of plotting to incite public violence to emulate Egypt and Tunisia mass uprising in the country at a meeting in Harare where found guilty Monday by the magistrate court.

Heavily armed police surrounded the magistrate court which was full with activists from organisations such as International Socialist Organisation (ISO), Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, National Constitutional Assembly and other organisations.

The case which was delayed for months ended three weeks ago.

 Treason charges which were initially preferred on the six activists were dropped to alternative charges of inciting violence and disturbing peace in the country after the prosecution failed to present its case before the courts.

 The six activists were being represented by prominent Harare lawyer Alec Muchadehama.

 Zimbabwe police arrested 45 activists in February at the time when the Arab spring citizens embarked on mass uprisings to topple their governments which they accused of trampling on their rights and looting state resources.

 The other charges of the 39 activists were dropped before trial.