Judge frees Bulawayo man shot by police over January 2018 violence

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

BULAWAYO High Court judge, Evangelista Kabasa on Friday freed a 30-year-old city man who has been languishing at Khami prison following his conviction for public violence during last year’s deadly protests over fuel price hike.

Bulawayo magistrate, Tinashe Tashaya September last year convicted and sentenced Promise Mandizha Dube of Luveve high-density suburb to four months in prison.

Through his lawyer, Jabulani Mhlanga from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), Dube filed an appeal against both conviction and sentence at the High Court on 8 October 2019.

He also filed an application for release on bail pending the determination of his appeal.

In his appeal application, Mhlanga argued that the state did not canvass all the essential elements to the charge of committing public violence and therefore failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt and that his imprisonment was excessive.

The lawyer also submitted that his client was unlawfully and without just cause, shot at the back by police officers at a supermarket in Luveve high-density suburb during the mass demonstrations.

After shooting Dube, the lawyer said the officers did not attend to him but instead, arrested him at Mpilo Hospital to where he was taken for treatment by some Good Samaritans.

He was charged with public violence.

Justice Kabasa granted Dube $500 bail pending the determination of his appeal against both conviction and sentence.

He also ordered Dube to report once every week on Fridays at Luveve Police Station and to reside at his given residential address until the final determination of his appeal.

Meanwhile, lawyers representing incarcerated prominent Bulawayo political activist, Josphat “Mzaca” Fortune Masuku (29) and his colleagues have approached the High Court seeking bail and as well as appeal for the group’s sentence.

Masuku, together with his colleagues were in December last year sentenced to seven years in prison for public violence related to the January 2019 civil unrest.

The magistrate suspended one year on condition that the four will not commit a similar crime within six years.