Nyore Madzianike Senior Reporter
MDC-Alliance Harare provincial chairperson and Ward 23 councillor, Stanley Manisa Manyenga (38) appeared in court yesterday on allegations of participating in illegal demonstrations held by members of the opposition on separate occasions in Warren Park and Harare’s Central Business District (CBD) during the lockdown.
Manyenga was not asked to plead to the charges when he appeared before magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa.
He was charged with two counts of participating in a gathering with intent to promote public violence and breach of peace or bigotry.
He is also facing an alternative charge of contravening Statutory Instrument 99 of 2020 (Covid-19 prevention, containment and treatment) “gathering of more than 50 individuals in a public place during national lockdown except those exempted”.
Manyenga was remanded to August 13 on $1 000 bail and was ordered to report once a fortnight at CID Law and Order.
The State, led by Mr Lancelot Mutsokoti alleges that on May 13, 2020 at around midday, Manyenga and 50 other people, who are still at large, defied the national lockdown regulations and went to gather at Warren Park 1 Shopping Centre in Harare. Manyenga and the group are said to have marched from the shopping centre towards Harare-Bulawayo Road along Fourth Street.
They were said to have been holding placards inscribed “unlock us before we revolt”, which the State alleges was threatening and intending to breach peace. Further allegations are that they were demonstrating against the extension of national lockdown and alleged misappropriation of Covid-19 funds by the Government.
Manyenga and the group were dispersed by the police on the day in question. On his other charge, it is alleged that on May 19 at around 5:30pm, Manyenga teamed up with other MDC-A youths and went to gather at Harvest House in Harare’s CBD, where they intended to convene a meeting. At around 6pm, Manyenga teamed up with Makomborero Haruziveshe, Allan Moyo, Denford Ngadziore and others, who are still at large, and allegedly started sloganeering and running along Nelson Mandela towards the Copacabana area.