Zim Authorities Revive Case Against Opposition Councillor Charged Over Anti-Sanctions March

Zim Authorities Revive Case Against Opposition Councillor Charged Over Anti-Sanctions March

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ZIMBABWEAN authorities have summoned Charles Ngwena, the Councillor for Ward 4 in Marondera Central constituency, to stand trial on charges of defeating or obstructing the course of justice after he allegedly questioned Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP)’s selective application of the law in prosecuting people.

Ngwena had been set free by Marondera Magistrate Liberty Garakara on Thursday 28 November 2019 after his lawyer Tinashe Chinopfukutwa of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights successfully applied for his removal from remand after arguing that the State was not ready for commencement of trial.

But Ngwena was recently served with summons to stand trial on Tuesday 7 January 2020 at Marondera Magistrates Court on charges of defeating or obstructing the course of justice as defined in Section 184(1)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

Prosecutors claim that Ngwena hindered three ZRP officers from executing their duties on Saturday 26 October 2019, when he allegedly grabbed a pushcart containing some bananas and which belongs to Patrick Chabvata, a vendor and pushed it away.

The incident reportedly took place near Marondera Municipality offices on the day when government organised an anti-sanctions protest and as the ZRP officers were escorting Chabvata to Marondera Central Police Station after arresting him for illegal vending.

Prosecutors claimed that an altercation ensued between Ngwena and the three police officers and this attracted members of the public who gathered around the scene resulting in the law enforcements agents leaving the place fearing for their safety.

When he appeared in court last year, Ngwena also faced a charge of undermining police authority as defined in Section 177(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly questioning ZRP’s selective application of the law in prosecuting people.

Prosecutors alleged that Ngwena undermined police authority when he reportedly questioned why some ZRP officers were arresting vendors who were struggling to make ends and yet they were not bothered about apprehending President Emmerson Mnangagwa whose government organised an anti-sanctions protest in October.

Ngwena reportedly uttered the following words; “Mapurisa munopenga munosunga vanhu vanotambura endai munosunga Emmerson ari busy kuita ma anti sanctions” which was translated to mean “Police you are mad. You are arresting poor people. Go and arrest Emmerson who is organising anti-sanctions”.

ENDS

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
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Email: info@zlhr.org.zw
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