#July31: Chegutu MDC Alliance duo freed on $1,500 bail

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By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent

MDC Alliance Mashonaland West provincial deputy organising secretary, Edward Dzeka and Chegutu West district youth vice chairperson Sheunesu Chimunyemba were Monday released on bail after spending the weekend in remand prison for allegedly inciting residents to participate in the foiled #July 31 citizen protests last Friday.

The duo appeared before Chegutu magistrate Noel Gwatidzo, who granted them $1 500 bail each, coupled with reporting conditions.

Dzeka, who is a councillor, and his co-accused Chimunyemba are facing charges of inciting public violence on 31 July 2020 in Chegutu.

They were represented by Advocate Douglas Chikwangwani of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).

The State case, led by prosecutor Abigail Sana, is that on the said date, one or both accused persons, working in connivance, incited Chegutu-based MDC Alliance supporters to stage a demonstration against the government.

The July 31 protests, which were planned for the entire country, were aimed at pressing President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration to stem rampant corruption, bad governance, hike in prices of basic commodities, among other ills.

The foiled demonstrations resulted in the arrest of opposition political party and civic organisation activists as well as journalists, a development that has elicited widespread international criticism.

Analysts have condemned the illegal nature of the arrests arguing they were in violation of citizens’ rights and liberties as enshrined in Section 59 of the country’s constitution.

Dzeka and Chimunyemba were arrested last Friday by heavily-armed security details, who allegedly pointed guns at them.

Following their arrest, the pair was detained at Chegutu CID Law and Order Section, before its initial court appearance Saturday where bail ruling was deferred to Monday.