Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) president Obert Masaraure and 15 other teachers have appeared in court after they were arrested in Harare this week for having an unlawful gathering in the Central Business District with the intention of causing mayhem.
Masaraure, (37), Munyaradzi Ndawana (42), Liam Takura Manhenga (45), Wellington Geese (34), Andrew Munger (45), Panashe Mutsvairo (23), Munyaradzi Masiyiwa (33), Tadiwanashe Muguti (22), Isaiah Chamunorwa (24), Brian Muthlanga (55), Sharon Tambudzai (27), Linia Nkiwani (38), Patricia Chiedza (40), Vimbai Mamutse (38), Sokuluthle Ndlovu (36) and Thembekile Ncube (48) were facing charges of being part of an illegal gathering with intent to promote public violence, breaching peace or bigotry when they appeared before Harare magistrate Mrs Yeukai Dzuda.
The accused persons submitted complains against police whom they accused of assaulting them after being arrested. The State opposed bail before calling the investigating officer who told the court that the accused persons were not proper candidates for bail as some of them gave wrong addresses to police.
The investigating officer further submitted that the placards that were carried by the accused persons had messages undermining the President. Mrs Dzuda remanded them in custody for continuation of bail application.
The court heard that on January 12, the informant and other police officers attached to the Police Reaction Group (PRG) were on duty patrolling the Central Business District when they received information that there was a group of people unlawfully gathered at National Social Security Authority (NSSA) complex which houses the offices of the Public Service Commission.
It is alleged that the police proceeded there and on arrival, they observed that the accused persons had stones and weapons and were singing holding placards.
Police said there was real risk or possibility that by their conduct ,they would disturb the peace, security and order of the public.
On seeing the police reaction group, the accused persons fled in different directions leading to the arrest of some of them.