By Staff Reporter
THE ZIMBABWE Congress of Trade Unions’ leaders who were arrested for protesting against the high costs of living in Zimbabwe and the government’s imposition of the 2% transaction tax have been acquitted after the magistrate in Mutare found them not guilty.
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) in a report Tuesday revealed that Mutare Magistrate Sekai Chiundura acquitted 19 ZCTU activists who had been on trial since 2018 for allegedly protesting against the high cost of living in Zimbabwe and the imposition of a 2% transactions tax by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.
The 19, who were represented by Passmore Nyakureba, were arrested on October 11 2018 by the police and charged with participating in a gathering with intent to promote public violence, breaches of peace or bigotry as defined in section 37 (1) (a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
During the trial, the state alleged that the ZCTU leaders had contravened the law by taking part in a demonstration organised by the country’s largest labour union to protest against the government’s disastrous economic policies.
However, Chiundura found them not guilty and acquitted them at the close of the state case indicating that the state had failed to prove a prima facie case against them.