Activists summoned for trial over Mphoko hotel stay protests

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By Robert Tapfumaneyi

PRO-democracy campaigner Lynette Mudehwe has been summoned to stand trial on charges of criminal nuisance for allegedly participating in an anti-government demonstration four years ago.

Mudehwe and others protested against then Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko’s lengthy stay in a hotel and will appear in court Monday, 4 November.

Authorities recently served Mudehwe, leader of the Zimbabwe Activists Association, with summons to appear at the Harare Magistrate Courts and answer to charges of criminal nuisance.

Tinomuda Shoko of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) is representing Mudehwe.

The former VP’s continued stay at a local hotel at the tax payer’s expense infuriated many after reports his hotel bill had reached US$620 00 in 613 days.

Mphoko was staying in the exclusive presidential suite at Rainbow Towers Hotel in the capital.

On several occasions, Mudehwe and other protesters besieged the hotel demanding that the then VP move out as he was gobbling hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayers’ money in hotel bills while ordinary people wallowed in poverty.

Mudehwe was arrested along with five other activists during the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) in 2015.