Mamombe put to her  defence, accomplices freed Joana Mamombe

Prosper Dembedza 

Herald Correspondent 

HARARE Provincial magistrate, Mr Taurai Manuwere, yesterday put Joana Mamombe to her defence and acquitted her three accomplices at the close of the State case.

On the main charge, Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri, Lovejoy Chitengu, Stanley Manyenga and Obey Tererai Sithole are alleged to have participated in an unlawful gathering with intent to promote public violence, breaches of the peace or bigotry.

On the alternative charge, the four were charged with contravening Covid-19 lockdown regulations.

The accused persons were facing allegations of staging an illegal demonstration in Warren Park.

In his ruling, the magistrate said no placards was produced by the State during trial.

One of the investigating officers who testified as a witness said he found the scene deserted and did not see any of the accused persons.

“None of the State’s witnesses saw the other accused persons at the scene except for Mamombe who was positively identified by Assistant Inspector Tevedzerai Shonhiwa.

Mr Manuwere said it cannot be said that the other accused persons participated in the demonstration or march on the day in question.

With reference to Mamombe, the magistrate said it is not in doubt that she was identified by the superior officer before they fired tear smoke at the scene in respect of the alternative charge.

“The State managed to prove that Mamombe committed an offence in respect of the alternative charge,” he said.

However, the magistrate discharged Mamombe on the main charge.

Mr Manuwere acquitted the other three after ruling that the State failed to prove a prima facie case against them.

Circumstances leading to the six’s arrest are that on May 13 at around 12.30pm, they teamed up with several others and gathered at Warren Park 1 Shopping Centre in Harare.

It was alleged that they marched from the shopping centre towards the Harare-Bulawayo Road.

According to the State, they displayed and waved placards, one of which was inscribed “Unlock us before we revolt”.

Further allegations are that the gang was later intercepted and dispersed by the police.

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