Japajapa, Jim Kunaka up for public violence

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By Court Reporter

CONTROVERSIAL businessman-cum-MDC activist, Paddington Japajapa was Tuesday arraigned before the courts on allegations of inciting public violence.

He appeared before Harare magistrate Ruramai Chitumbura who released him on $100 bail after he complained that $200 suggested by the state was too much.

Japajapa, who finally appeared in court after being one the run for the past two weeks, was ordered to report every Friday at the police, not to interfere with witnesses and to continue residing at his given address until his case is finalised.

He will be back in court on September 4.

According to the state, allegations against him arose on July 31 at Harare International Conference Centre (HICC).

It is alleged that when Zimbabwe Electoral commission (ZEC) announced election results for the first seven constituencies in respect of house of assembly, Japajapa then held a press conference outside ZEC command centre and claimed results were rigged and they were not to accept rubbish.

He allegedly said he was a civil society leader and was going to call for chaos in the country.

“If people come to rallies it means they appreciate their candidate, you cannot follow a candidate whom you cannot vote for,” Japajapa allegedly said.

Court heard he went on to cite Gweru as an example saying over 40 000 people attended MDC Alliance losing presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa’s rally and as such there was no way he could fail to win the July 30 poll.

“Chamisa was pulling more than 30 000 and 40 000 and now we are seeing a different scenario,” he said.

“ZEC must do the right thing by announcing correct results. Failure to do this as a leader of a civic organisation I am going to call for chaos in this country. We are not concerned about consequences, we want the right thing to be done,” Japajapa was further accused of saying.

It is further alleged he said they were going to do an audit of the election results.

According to prosecutor Sebastian Mutizirwa, following the utterances, MDC Alliance supporters took to the streets and violently demonstrated against ZEC.

Six people died during the protests that saw the businessman go into hiding.

Prosecutors claim several press statements were made outlining that Japajapa was wanted by the police, but he never showed up.

He was finally arrested when the police had been tipped off over his whereabouts.

Meanwhile, in another violence related case, National Patriotic Front (NPF) activist Jim Kunaka (40) was also arraigned before the same magistrate answering to public violence charges.

Kunaka was released on $200 bail pending his trial.

Prosecutors allege that he was among protestors who demonstrated against the election results on August 1 this year.

Kunaka was ordered to surrender his passport, to continue residing at his given address and to report once every Friday at CID Law and order.

Sebastian Mutizirwa appeared for the state.


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