Prosper Dembedza Court Correspondent
FIVE of the 10 protesters who barricaded roads at Kamunhu Shopping Centre in Mabvuku, vandalised property and broke into Choppies Supermarket before looting groceries during MDC-Alliance-instigated violent demonstrations last month were yesterday sentenced to an effective 42 months in jail each.
Simbarashe Nyamadzawo (22), Gilbert Jasimoni (34), Abisha Musakanda (24), George Tomu (26) and Danny Sere (27) were found guilty of public violence when they appeared before Harare regional magistrate Mr Hosiah Mujaya.
Mr Mujaya initially sentenced them to five years in jail before suspending 18 months on condition of good behaviour.
He acquitted Takudzwa Mutupa (19), Brian Nyamayaro (19), Talent Mugadza (21), Wyclode Mashange (16) and Brian Zuze (23) due to insufficient evidence linking them to the offence.
In passing sentence, Mr Mujaya said the violent acts that erupted in the country last month pose negative effects not only internally, but globally, as no investor would want to invest in a violent country.
“Such violent actions push away investors and not in Mabvuku only, but in the entire country at large,” he said.
He said the five committed a serious offence and went on to attack police officers on duty who were trying to control the situation.
Mr Mujaya further said a custodial sentence was appropriate in such a matter to convey a strong warning to would-be offenders.
Prosecutor Mrs Netsai Mushayabasa told the court that the five were a menace to society and must be separated from the public.