Saturday 15 August 2020
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High Court quashes MDC Alliance activists’ conviction

BULAWAYO High Court on Tuesday granted the appeal made by three Plumtree-based MDC Alliance activists who were convicted in 2018 on political violence charges after clashing with Zanu PF activists during a campaign roadshow. BY SILAS NKALA Solani Moyo (51), who was a 2018 parliamentary candidate for MDC Alliance in one of the Plumtree constituencies, Madodana Mtimeni (41) and Innocent Ncube (37) were convicted by the now late Plumtree magistrate Sharon Roseman. She then ordered them to pay $500 fine with an option of 90 days in jail. Through their lawyer Prince Butshe Dube, the trio filed an appeal at the Bulawayo High Court challenging their conviction On Tuesday, Justice Martin Makonese sitting with Justice Evangelista Kabasa granted their appeal and set aside the conviction. In granting the appeal, Justice Makonese expressed shock at why the three were convicted when the Zanu PF activists who clashed with them were not arrested. “This court finds that the conviction was wrong. What is in this court is evidence on one political party. The accused were doing a lawful activity — a roadshow as sanctioned, while the other political party was doing an unlawful activity without the authority of the regulatory authority. Therefore, the appeal is granted and the conviction is set aside,” ruled the judges. In their appeal, the MDC Alliance activists submitted that the court a quo erred “at law by relying on the evidence of accomplice (Zanu PF) witnesses without cautioning itself against the dangers of relying on the uncorroborated evidence of such witnesses who contradicted each other”. They submitted that they were conducting a police sanctioned event in Madube township, Plumtree which was disrupted by the Zanu PF activists.


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