Harare Protests; 68 remanded in custody

Staff reporter

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68 accused arrive at Harare Magistrate Court

68 people today appeared before a Harare magistrate on charges of public violence after  protests that rocked Harare in the last week.

Among the accused were #Tajamuka leader Promise Mkwananzi, photojournalist James Jemwa and former student leader Ostallos Gift Siziba who was said to have been abducted yesterday during the protests.

The court heard that Siziba was abducted and bundled into a car whose owner has since been identified and taken to the ZANU PF headquarters were he was tortured before being handed over to the police.

Mkwananzi is being charged with public violence that rocked Harare this week where vehicles belonging to the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation and Zimbabwe Republic Police were burnt. The state applied to have Mkwananzi and his co-accused placed on remand. His bail hearing has been set for Monday.

Jemwa is a journalist who was in the course of his duties when he was arrested. The court heard that the police had admitted their mistake in arresting the journalist. Other people were arrested while coming from work and 68 year old Fredman Mbanjeshoma was arrested together with his cooler box while selling drinks(freezits).

Other people arrested included a security guard who was still wearing his uniform while a pregnant woman was also caught up in the violence and arrested. The defense lawyers argued that their clients were arrested in an arbitrary manner.

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68 year old accused who was picked up along with his coolerbox selling drinks in Harare

Before proceedings  Mkwananzi complained that his right to privacy was infringed upon arrest by police. The police went through his cell phone without his consent and without a search warrant in violation of section 57 of the constitution. Mkwananzi also claimed police interfered with his communications.

Other suspects also complained that they had been assaulted by police and denied critical medical attention.

All the accused were remanded in custody and were told to come back on Monday for their bail applications.

watch video of accused arriving at court

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