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Police officer appears in court charged with interrupting Zanu PF meeting; lawyer says he was beaten up by ruling party members

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

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A BULAWAYO police officer was Tuesday dragged before a city magistrate for allegedly interrupting a Zanu PF meeting in New Magwegwe suburb on Saturday.

Eriezel Gondo (33) was charged with “disturbing a public gathering” when he appeared magistrate Shepherd Mjanja.

The court remanded him out of custody on a ZW$30,000 bail to December 13, 2022.

Defence lawyer Nqobani Sithole of Ncube Attorneys complained to the court that his client was severely assaulted by the complainants before he was handed over to the police.

Magistrate Mjanja ordered the State to carry out investigations on the complaints raised by the defence before postponing the case.

State papers before the court indicate that Gondo, who was reportedly drunk, interrupted a meeting of Zanu PF’s DCC Area Two which was underway at Mabhodoko Shopping Centre in New Magwegwe last Saturday.

“At around 12 noon, Gondo who was drunk arrived at the meeting and told them (Zanu PF supporters) that they must disperse,” reads the Prosecution documents.

“(An) informant, Moses Charumbira, who is secretary for security rebuked him and asked him to leave the venue.”

Gondo reportedly returned half an hour later and told the meeting; “Ndoda kukunyorerai petition vanhu veZanu PF munozviitisa.”

After uttering the alleged words, Gondo was again chased away, but he returned a few minutes later uttered the words “What are you talking about? The youths are hungry and jobless!”

He then left the meeting venue and went to a nearby bottle store where he further shouted, “Muri kurega ava veZanu PF vachiita musangano wavo isu tichifa nenzara; handei tose tinovarova! (Why are you allowing these Zanu PF people to hold a meeting while we are struggling with hunger; let’s go and beat them up).”

Prosecutors say the informant, Charumbira, followed Gondo supported by a party colleague..

The two Zanu PF activists effected a “citizen’s arrest” on the accused and handed him over to Magwegwe Police Station where a docket was opened.