Injured August 16 victims charged for public violence

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By Leopold Munhende

TWO victims of a police crackdown on MDC supporters who thronged Harare’s CBD despite a prohibition order issued against a planned protest by the opposition August 16 have been charged with participating in a gathering to commit public violence.

Thomas Munemo and Peter Chinzote, both with fractured arms and visible bruises from police assault, are being represented by Tinomuda Shoko and Obey Shava of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).

In a statement, the lawyers group said it was ironical that the two victims of a police brutal action now face jail.

“Is it not outrageous that Munemo and Chinzote who are victims of police brutality after they were assaulted by ZRP on 16 August in Harare, have just been charged with participating in a gathering to commit public violence as defined in Section 37 of the Criminal (Reform) Act,” said ZLHR.

Thomas Munemo, lawyer Obey Shava and Peter Chinzote

Police were accused of having used excessive force to disperse protestors on 16 August, triggering chaos that left dozens injured.

One woman had to be attended to by members of the Red Cross after she was knocked out cold by a baton stick strike on her head.

The European Union, US and local rights defenders have all condemned the State’s brutal response to protestors but Foreign Affairs Minister Sibusiso Moyo last week maintained that the police had been left with no option.

Munemo and Chinzote are accused of having blocked the free movement of vehicles on the day and pelting anti-riot officers with stones when they were asked to move away.

They are expected in court on Wednesday.