14 MDC-T activists remanded in custody
By Nomalanga Moyo
The 14 MDC-T supporters arrested Saturday on charges of hindering a police
officer from executing her duties have been remanded in custody after their
bail application was dismissed.
The activists, who were being detained at Chegutu police cells, have since
been transferred to Kadoma remand prison, their lawyer Tonderai Bhatasara
Bhatasara said magistrate Togarepi Zhou ruled that it was not in the best
interests of justice to grant the activists bail.
He said he will be appealing the magistrate’s decision at the High Court.
Speaking to SW Radio Africa Bhatasara said: “The reasons are not clear in
the judgement. It would appear that the court agreed with the prosecution
who were arguing that the addresses of the accused need to be verified.
“The state also said the 14 did not have identity cards when they were
“However, in our bail application we addressed these issues, and indicated
that the police had had ample time to verify addresses between Saturday,
when the 14 were arrested, and Tuesday when they appeared before the
magistrate,” he added.
The 14 were arrested while on their way to Gweru for a constitution
publicity campaign launch, addressed by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
They were part of a group of 57 MDC-T activists who were travelling on a
Munenzva bus whose driver was arrested at a roadblock for “travelling ahead
of schedule”, according to the police.
The police allege the 14 the disembarked from the bus and confronted an
officer, demanding the driver’s release. They are charging them under
Section 184:1(g) of the Criminal Law (Reform & Codification) Act.
The 14 are Kennethy Nyanhindi (29), Friday Matawire (19), Chigwada Tatenda
(22), Masenda Benson (22), Archieford Mutsagwa (29), Waison Chapfungamoyo
(29), Tendai Katsariga (28), Terrence Perk (30), Nash Ngoroyemoto (25),
Elisha Mandizvidza (34), Michael Gondo (31), Simba Murigwa (42), Rodwell
Madziyire (age not given) and Trouble Hasha (40).
Responding to the arrests, the MDC-T said in a statement issued Monday that
it was disturbed by the selective application of the law by the police.
The statement reminded the police of acts of violence perpetrated against
opposition party supporters by ZANU PF supporters, who are yet to be