Harare Magistrate Stanford Mambanje on Monday 21 November 2022 convicted 34 congregants, who had been on trial on charges of staging an anti-government protest against the country’s agonising political and economic crisis.
The 34 congregants, who are also members of Zimbabwe Transformative Party (ZTP), an opposition political party, led by 52 year-old Kanyenzura Parere, who is a Bishop of Mirirai Jehovha Apostolic Church, had been on trial after they were arrested by Zimbabwe Republic Police officers on 9 July 2022 and charged with criminal nuisance as defined in section 46 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
During trial, prosecutors alleged that the 34, who were represented by Evans Moyo of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, unlawfully acted in a
manner which is likely to create a nuisance by walking on the roads and pavements in Harare’s central business district while singing a gospel song with the lyrics “Emmanuel tisunungureiwo tanzwa ne nhamo” and thereby obstructed the free passage and movement of people and vehicles.
In convicting the 34 congregants, Harare Magistrate Stanford Mambanje said he was convinced by the testimony of some witnesses who testified
during the trial of the congregants, whom he said had no reason to lie and who ordered the ZTP party members to disperse as they were doing something wrong.
The 34 ZTP party members, who include Simon Goshomi, who is ZTP’s Vice-President, Richard Mhurushoma, the opposition party’s Chairperson, Fortune Chapeyama, who is ZTP’s Secretary-General, Prince Mukozho, Solomon Duwa, Shongai Mushinje, Noah Dabvu, Jasper Muringanidza, Honoured Mutangadura, Sherperd Mutsonhi, Edson Shonhiwa, Chaora Rovesai, Tafadzwa Musere, Tsverukai Harava, Shamiso Majecha, Runia Musere, Margret Chibwana, Sakile Nkomo, Helen Kuudzewe, Liah Munakandafa, Victoria Changadzo, Restar Kunyenzura, Emmanuel Musere, Godfrey Mashava, Givemore Bandera, Pangai Kurehwatira, Edward Mhindu, Leon Mukopfa, Pride Charedzera, Irvin Musenze, Jefta Takaedza, Thomas Zengeya and Felix Zengeya, will be sentenced by Magistrate Mambanje on Tuesday 22 November 2022.