MRP activists escape jail for Motlanthe disruption

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

A Bulawayo Magistrate on Friday fined three Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) activists $200 each or 30 days in prison on charges of public violence and interrupting the Commission of Inquiry into the August 1st shootings that left six people dead last year.

The Commission was headed by former South Africa President Kagalema Motlanthe and was set up by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to investigate circumstances around the violent protests and subsequent shootings by the army.

The three party’s activists, Vanet Ncube, Welcome Moyo and Marshal Sibanda have been languishing at Khami Remand prison since Friday last week awaiting sentence following their conviction.

Magistrate Sithembile Ncube ordered the MRP activists to pay the fine before the 31st of this month. The three activists were represented by Dumisani Dube from Mathonsi Law Chambers while the State was represented by Leonard Tshile.

In an interview with New, Dube said he was happy with the ruling.

“I am happy that my clients have been freed. Their continued detention at Khami prison was now an infringement on their rights because they were supposed to have been brought to court on Wednesday,” he said.

Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service officials in Bulawayo on Wednesday failed to bring the three activists to court from Khami remand prison due to fuel shortages.

The MRP leadership had threatened violence if their members were to be given a custodial sentence.