Senior Court Reporter
THE trial of CCC vice presidents, Tendai Biti and Lynette Karenyi, on charges of violating Covid-19 regulations during the lockdown period after they allegedly staged an illegal demonstration at their former party headquarters in Harare in June 2020, has been deferred to next year.
Harare regional magistrate Mr Taurai Manwere set the matter for January 24 pending a High Court determination on their application for review of their case.
Biti and Karenyi are jointly appearing with fellow members of the opposition party, David Chimhini, Vimbai Tome, Lovemore Chinoputsa and Gladys Hlatywayo.
It is the State’s case that on June 5, 2020, police received information that the opposition party members were gathered at Morgan Tsvangirai House in Harare in contravention of Statutory Instrument 83 of 2020, which then prohibited the gathering of more than 50 people.
It was alleged that they were planning to stage an unsanctioned demonstration.
The State alleges that police reacted swiftly and went to the corner of Nelson Mandela Avenue and Angwa Street where a number of the opposition party’s supporters were already gathered. Upon seeing the police, Biti, Karenyi and others allegedly started to cause mayhem, leading to the arrest of some of the participants.
In the afternoon of the same day, while police were monitoring the situation at the intersection of Nelson Mandela Avenue and Angwa Street, the six opposition members reportedly arrived at the scene in the company of more than 50 people.
It is alleged that they burst into song, “Kana ndafa nehondo”, and allegedly blocked roads.
The court heard that the conduct of Biti and his co-accused interfered with public comfort, peace and convenience.
They were then arrested before being taken to court.
Mr Ephraim Zinyandu appeared for the State.