THE National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on Monday withdrew charges against 86 Bulawayo residents who were arrested in July and charged with committing public violence after they allegedly took part in the #ShutdownZim2016 anti-government protests.
Jeremiah Mutsindikwa of the NPA withdrew charges against 86 Bulawayo residents after conceding that there is no sufficient evidence to even consider commencement of trial for the accused persons who appeared before Bulawayo Magistrate Charity Maphosa same day.
The 86 Bulawayo residents, who were represented by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) lawyers Jonathan Tsvangirai, Lison Ncube, Jabulani Mhlanga and Tanaka Muganyi were arrested on 06 July 2016 at Mzilikazi Township in Bulawayo, where they were accused of participating in protests staged against the government.
They spent two days detained at Mzilikazi Police Station before they appeared at Bulawayo Magistrates Court, where they were granted $80 bail each by Magistrate Evelyn Mashavakure on 08 July 2016.
ZLHR has in recent months and weeks been witnessing the collapse of cases where several citizens were arrested and prosecuted for allegedly participating in anti-government protests staged in July.
Judicial officers have granted applications for refusal of further remand filed by ZLHR lawyers who would have challenged the arrest and prosecution of citizens as unlawful and malicious.