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Jacob Ngarivhume to Appeal Conviction and Sentence

The convicted leader of the opposition Transform Zimbabwe party, Jacob Ngarivhume, is set to approach the High Court of Harare for bail pending appeal.

Ngarivhume’s lawyers, Professor Lovemore Madhuku and Moses Nkomo, are challenging both his sentence and conviction after Magistrate Feresi Chakanyuka sentenced him to an effective three years in jail for merely tweeting in support of an anti-corruption demonstration.

Ngarivhume was convicted after a full trial on allegations of inciting violence, which emanated from his alleged tweets. The state argued that his utterances were “inviting people to demonstrate against the government.”

The leader of Transform Zimbabwe, an opposition party, was arrested after leading and organizing the July 31, 2020, anti-corruption protests. Ngarivhume was convicted by Harare magistrate Feresi Chakanyuka on Thursday, April 28, 2023. He was sentenced on April 28 to 48 months imprisonment, with 12 months suspended.

He will effectively serve 36 months in prison without the option of a fine. He was accused of inciting public violence by using his Twitter handle to convene the July 31, 2020, nationwide anti-corruption protests, which were quashed by security forces.

Ngarivhume’s lawyers argue that his conviction and sentence are a violation of his constitutional rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. They also argue that the magistrate erred in law in convicting him.

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Journalist based in Harare

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