MDC councillor cleared of violence incitement charges

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By Mary Taruvinga

MDC activist and councillor for Mabelreign, Denford Ngadziore was Friday found not guilty of inciting last month’s deadly anti-government protests.

Ngadziore had been on trial since mid-February this year.

The state alleged that he moved around high density suburbs in Harare encouraging people to go into the streets to protest.

But Harare Magistrate Victoria Mashamba on Friday acquitted the opposition official after ruling that the state failed to prove its case.

“Witnesses gave contradicting testimonies leaving the court to doubt the allegations.

“This court is of the view that the state failed to prove its prima-face case and the accused is hereby found not guilty and acquitted,” she said.

Prosecuting, Idah Maromo alleged that Ngadziore went to residential suburbs which included Kuwadzana, Glen View and Budiriro calling on residents to join the protests.

Court heard that people took heed of his calls and joined the streets which left a trail of destruction.

Protestors also looted groceries and disturbed the free flow of traffic while motorists were also pelted.

The worst protests since the 1998 food riots saw more than a thousand Zimbabweans arrested countrywide with the military responding with fire power leading to over a dozen deaths.