By Tarisai Machakaire
Three leaders of social media movement #Tajamuka arrested on Monday during a media briefing on bond notes were granted bail at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts yesterday.
Tajamuka spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi, 35, is being jointly charged with activists Mehluli Dube, 35, and Kudakwashe Manjonjo, 23.
They are being charged with participating in a gathering with the intention to promote public violence and being a criminal nuisance.
The trio appeared before magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti.
Mkwananzi and his team were represented by Obey Shava. They were ordered to pay $200 each and report twice a week at CID Law and Order as part of conditions.
Shava noted that the $200 bail was too high and his clients could not afford it “unless a miracle happened”.
The State had opposed bail on the basis that accused persons have pending cases at the courts and could boycott court hearings for fear of being jailed.
“Having a pending case is not a ground at law to deny an accused person bail. If anything, what should be noted from those pending cases is that accused persons were admitted to bail,” Shava said.
He further submitted that his clients rights were infringed as they were arrested exercising a constitutionally-enshrined privilege.
“Section 67 of the constitution which talks about political rights provide that every citizen has the right to participate, influence, challenge or support policies of their government,” Shava added.
Prosecutor Peter Kachirika alleged that on November 28 at Corner Rezende and Jason Moyo Avenue in Harare Mkwananzi was in the company of other members of #Tajamuka clad in T-shirts with their insignia.
They also waved placards inscribed Enough is Enough, No to bond notes, #hatichada #hatichatya.
The court heard that accused persons took turns to address a gathering of about 25 people, allegedly inciting them to shun the introduction of bond notes and alleged corruption by senior government officials.
It was alleged that Mkwananzi and his team encouraged the gathered public to participate in allegedly “violent demonstrations” on November 30 in which they allegedly vowed to attack police officers who stood in their way. Daily News