Tendai Rupapa Senior Court Reporter—
Thirteen of the protesters aligned to MDC-T who allegedly ran amok in Harare Central Business District and destroyed property before setting ablaze a police van and a Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) vehicle on Wednesday, yesterday appeared in court charged with public violence. It is alleged that they also looted supermarkets, including Choppies along Nelson Mandela Avenue, where they stole various goods.
The court heard that a police base at Market Square bus terminus was also destroyed. The suspects are Tinotenda Mhungu (23), Admire Mashenu (35), Washington Mavere (32), Elfigio Honzeri (38), Khosa Hlalanilathi (26), Tendai Mandimika (42), Douglas Dhorobho (54) and Munyaradzi Tafirenyika (43).
Their alleged accomplices are Jairos Munyanyi (51), Ronald Tafirenyika (40), Vincent Ndoro (38), Mayor Vhuranda (34) and Collen Makeche. The gang appeared before magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe who remanded them in custody to Monday for bail application.
They are being represented by lawyers from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights led by Mr Jeremiah Bhamu. Mr Bhamu told the court that the arrest of his clients was a subject to dragnet arrest.
He said they were arrested while at their workplace at Roselyn House along Nelson Mandela. He is also submitted that Mandimika is an accredited journalist who was also arrested while covering the skirmishes.
The prosecutor Mr Sebastian Mutizirwa alleged that the gang teamed up and held a public gathering along Nelson Mandela Avenue where they had a public meeting in the Central Business District, Harare.
It is alleged that they conspired to proceed within the CBD and caused public violence, setting ablaze State-owned properties which included two motor vehicles, Ford Ranger belonging to the police and a Mazda BT50 belonging to ZBC. The court heard that the gang allegedly stoned privately-owned motor vehicles, looted from shops and disturbed the peace, security and order of the public.