A Harare magistrate’s court Tuesday freed 65 residents from Epworth, among them nine juveniles, who had been accused of public violence allegedly committed last year.
The offence emanated from their alleged involvement in last July’s protests against police corruption and a government ban on imports.
The accused were arrested between Mabvuku high-density suburb and Zimre Park medium density suburb and along the Harare-Mutare highway.
Police claimed the group barricaded the road with stones and burning tyres and violently harassed motorists and commuters resulting in their disturbing the peace, security or order of the public.
Prosecutors charged that through their acts, some motorists and commuters were forced to disembark from the vehicles they were travelling in while a police vehicle was also damaged during the protests.
But Harare magistrate Victoria Mashamba was forced to set the group free after she agreed with its lawyers they were not properly brought before the court.
It emerged during trial there were no warned and cautioned statements recorded from 42 members of the accused lot.
Among those freed were juveniles; Kupakwashe Mataka (17), Ronald Mbirimi (18), Kadrick Mapfumo (16), Robert Zhinexs (17), Bernard Muvembi (19), Tatenda Mucheka (18), Kennedy Mupindu (19), Albert Chipfuwamiti (18) and Takudzwa Tutai (17). Radio VOP