Fungai Jachi Court Correspondent
The trial date for MDC-T legislator for Highfield East Eric Murai and 15 members of the opposition party accused of stoning police officers at an unsanctioned rally in Hopley, Harare South, was yesterday set for January 13 next year. Prosecutor Mr Tafara Chirambira applied for the matter to be remanded to the said date saying all was set for the commencement of trial.
Murai (44), Memory Ncube (33), Aqueline Sanganai (68), Erenia Chiradza (54), Rutendo Bvute (29), Stella Manyanga (64), Herbert Mwadira (18), Tafadzwa Kambala (25), Sinkiwe Mandava (53), Peter Mafara (33), Shepherd Munyadzi (40), Michael Matemai (67), Farai Kushata (42), Clyde Mushamba (30), Givemore Muparahwa (38) and Memory Mudyabumhe (46) appeared before Ms Anita Tshuma facing charges of public violence.
The 16 are represented by Mr Tonderai Bhatasara of Mupanga Bhatasara Attorneys and Mr Vitalis Mudzonga of Mauwa and Associates legal practitioners. Allegations are that on November 2, Trouble Hasha applied to the police to hold an MDC-T rally at Kazembe Rising Stars Primary School.
The court heard that police turned down the application. It is alleged that on November 8, the accused, despite having no authorisation to conduct a rally, gathered at the school in their party regalia.
It is the State’s case that they intended to proceed with the meeting.
The State further alleged that the police received information that about 50 MDC-T supporters were holding an unsanctioned meeting. Police, led by Inspector James Chimombe, went to the venue to disperse the MDC-T supporters. Upon arrival the supporters turned violent throwing stones at the police, the court heard.
It is alleged that the situation got out of hand and the police used teargas and warning shots to disperse the crowd. The accused were later arrested by anti-riot police.