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High Court acquits caged MDC A members 

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By Staff Reporter 

THE High Court has acquitted former MDC –Alliance Mashonaland Central provincial youth chairman Tonderai Samu alongside four others who were serving four years for obstructing or endangering free movement of people during anti government protests three years ago.

Samu, Elisha Benjamin, Wonder Zuze, Patrice Dandajena and Beverly Mureya were convicted in 2019 for allegedly organising and staging protests against President Emmerson Mnangagwa in Mvurwi.

Prosecutors allege they sent messages via WhatsApp inciting violence.

It was further alleged that they went to the community hall with 50 other people singing revolutionary songs.

They were also said to have barricaded roads during the protests, thereby restricting movement of people.

The five were arrested with six other alleged protestors who were acquitted at the close of the State’s case.

Following their conviction and sentence, the five appealed.

Judges of appeal, Justices Benjamin Chikowero and Happias Zhou upheld their submissions before setting them free.

“We are satisfied that the respondent (State) ‘s opinion in conceding the appeal against conviction of Samu, Benjamin Zuze and Mureya is sound .As regards to Dandajena, we agree that the trial court should have acquitted the former for the same reasons that it acquitted other accused,” said the judges.

The court also agreed with the lower court in finding that the police who had testified during their trial at the magistrate’s court were not credible witnesses.

“Mureya was a Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) activist . The MDC is a political party .He denied being at the scene of crime.In other words, he said that the three police officers were not telling the truth in asserting that they saw him in the company of the third accused at the scene as both threw bricks onto the road . The police only arrested him because of his political activism .They thought that the demonstration ( which is not a crime ) was organised by the MDC.

“In finding that the three police officers were not credible witnesses in acquitting the other accused, the trial court , without realising it , was effectively acquitting Mureya as well,” said the judges before setting aside the conviction and sentence.