Nyore Madzianike Senior Court Reporter
Political activist, Jacob Ngarivhume, and his followers have turned the flopped July 31 protests into a movement dubbed #JULY31MOVEMENT aimed at perpetuating the agenda of removing a constitutionally elected Government, a court heard yesterday.
The court also heard that the State has already watched a video in which opposition elements, including MDC Alliance member Job Sikhala, are forging for the degeneration of the failed July 31 demonstrations into a new movement.
This emerged yesterday when prosecutor Mr Michael Reza was responding to Ngarivhume’s fresh bail application on changed circumstances.
Ngarivhume, through his lawyer Mr Moses Nkomo, made a fresh freedom bid, saying there were no fears of him endangering the public since July 31 had passed.
The application was made before Harare regional magistrate Mr Trynos Utahwashe.
Said Ngarivhume in his application: “Applicant has now approached this honourable court on the basis that 31st July 2020 is past and there were no incidences of violence or disturbances of public order or undermining of public peace and security.”
Ngarivhume argued that the few people who were arrested on the day of the flopped much-hyped demonstrations were granted bail and he should be freed on the same vein.
“It is submitted in casu that circumstances have changed to such an extent that they warrant the release of the accused on bail without compromising the reasons for the initial refusal of the bail application,” said Mr Nkomo.
“Specifically, it is no longer possible for the applicant to call for another demonstration on July 31 2020 as the accused had initially done.”
Ngarivhume told the court that he will be wiser and will ensure that he takes appropriate measures that address police’s fears in the event that he wishes to call for another demonstration in future.
He then proposed that he deposits $5 000 and report to the police every Friday as part of his bail conditions.
Mr Reza told the court that there were no changed circumstances, as Ngarivhume was determined to continue pursuing his agenda.
“There are no changed circumstances as they have changed the July 31 protests into #JULY31MOVEMENT,” he said. “The State has watched a video in which his colleague Job Sikhala was encouraging people to join the movement. These are determined people and determined people will take it as a learning curve.
“In other words, he has learnt and the objective of the demonstration of removing the leader of the Government, President Mnangagwa, from office have not been met and they will not stop.
Mr Utahwashe remanded Ngarivhume in custody to Friday for bail ruling.