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Trio Freed Over Courthouse Protest

MBARE Magistrate Stanford Mambanje on Tuesday 22 October 2019 granted bail to three pro-democracy campaigners who were arrested early in the week and charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly staging a protest outside Harare Magistrates Court.

Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers on Monday 21 October 2019 arrested Denford Ngadziore, Harare’s Mabelreign Ward 16 Councillor, Makomborero Haruzivishe and Johna Matoratora and charged them with disorderly conduct in a public place as defined in section 41(b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

Prosecutors alleged that Ngadziore, Haruzivishe and Matoratora, who were represented by Gift Mtisi of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, engaged in a disorderly conduct using insulting or abusive words or behaving in an abusive manner or insulting manner by gathering at the main entrance at Harare Magistrates Court after they had attended the hearing of a bail application for the late Hilton Tamangani and 10 other informal traders, where they sang abusive songs with the lyrics “Ndimi makauraya” which the State translated to mean “You are the ones who killed” intending to provoke the breach of peace.

The State charged that as they were singing outside the courthouse, Ngadziore, Haruzivishe and Matoratora were pointing to some uniformed ZRP officers, who were deployed to perform “public order management.”

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However, Magistrate Mambanje freed the trio, who had spent a night in detention at Harare Central Police Station, after granting them $200 bail each and ordering them to report at ZRP police stations once a week on Fridays and to continue residing at their given residential addresses and not to interfere with State witnesses until their matter is finalised.

Ngadziore, Haruzivishe and Matoratora will return to court on Thursday 31 October 2019 when their trial is scheduled to commence.

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