ZLHR rescues man jailed over anti-govt protests

HIGH Court Judge Justice Evangelista Kabasa has set free a 30 year-old
man who had been incarcerated for close to one year after he was
arrested and charged with committing public violence during an
anti-government demonstration held in January 2019 to protest against
an increase in the price of fuel.

30 year-old Promise Mandizha Dube of Luveve high-density suburb in
Bulawayo was sentenced to serve four months at Khami Prison after he
was convicted by Bulawayo Magistrate Tinashe Tashaya on 24 September
2019.

His trial came after he was unlawfully and without just cause shot at
the back by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers at a supermarket
in Luveve high-density suburb in Bulawayo during the mass stay away
held in January 2019. ZRP officers who shot Dube did not attend to him
or offer any assistance and was only assisted by members of the public
who took him to Mpilo Hospital, where he was admitted and treated. To
cover up for the shooting and to try to justify their actions, ZRP
officers from CID Law and Order Section at Bulawayo Central Police
Station then arrested Dube on his hospital bed at Mpilo Hospital on 18
January 2019 and charged him with public violence as defined in
section 36(1)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform Act)
after they had heard about his shooting.

Dissatisfied with the conviction and incarceration of his client,
Dube’s lawyer, Jabulani Mhlanga of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights,
filed an appeal against both conviction and sentence at the High Court
on 8 October 2019 and also filed an application for release on bail
pending the determination of his appeal.

On Friday 3 January 2020, Justice Kabasa, granted Dube ZWL$500 bail
pending the determination of his appeal against both conviction and
sentence.
The Judge also ordered Dube to report once per week on Fridays at
Luveve Police Station and to reside at his given residential address
until the final determination of his appeal.

In the appeal, Mhlanga argued that the State did not canvass all the
essential elements to the charge of committing public violence and
therefore failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt and that
his imprisonment for four years was excessive as to induce a sense of
shock.