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#July31 organiser Ngarivhume disowns Twitter account

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By Mary Taruvinga

TRANSFORM Zimbabwe leader and organiser of the foiled July 31 anti-government protests, Jacob Ngarivhume has disowned a Twitter handle the state claims he used to spread his call for national protests.

Ngarivhume is facing a charge of inciting the public to commit violence by staging protests against looting by the government.

The state insists this was equal to inciting a revolt against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s under-fire administration.

The opposition leader who has been languishing in prison custody since his arrest two weeks ago, is denying the allegations.

In a new twist to his case, Ngarivhume has disowned the account while appealing for bail at the High Court on Monday.

His lawyer, Moses Nkomo told High Court judge, Tawanda Chitapi Monday his client is not connected to the alleged social media posts in any way.

“The appellant will deny having knowledge of the alleged posts or the Twitter account.

“He will insist that he is not the owner of the account and never wrote the posts which have caused his arrest,” he said.

However, Chitapi questioned the lawyer on why he did not challenge placement of his client on remand in the first place.

The judge said the state placed Ngarivhume on remand because there was reasonable suspicion that he committed the alleged offence.

He said the remedy was for the defence to challenge it in the first place.

Prosecuting, Michael Reza insisted that Ngarivhume should remain behind bars.

“It is true that the demonstrations were intended for the 31 July which has since passed.

“The accused did not manage to fulfil his intention to demonstrate against the government so he might do it if granted bail,” said Reza.

The judge reserved his ruling to August 6.