By Tarisai Machakaire
National Vendors Union of Zimbabwe (Navuz) president Sten Zvorwadza was yesterday told to prioritise court business after he sought a postponement of his attempted arson trial to go and meet with President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Zvorwadza is being accused of threatening to burn down a local hotel during a demonstration against then vice president Phelekezela Mphoko’s prolonged stay there.
Zvorwadza has been issued with three warrants of arrest by Harare magistrate Francis Mapfumo who is presiding over the trial.
Prosecutor Desire Chidanire had yesterday urged the court to confine Zvorwadza to prison until his case is finalised since he has not availed himself for trial on numerous occasions.
“This becomes the third warrant of arrest to be issued against the accused person since this matter was set down for trial and he has always turned up to cancel.
“This is also not the first time that accused person has used the president’s name in delaying the matter,” Chidanire said.
“He claims to be hosting the president and may he be put in custody if no proof is tendered to that effect today.”
Zvorwadza was given an opportunity to bring the proof and presented a document showing that Navuz had a meeting with Mnangagwa today before the case was postponed to August 22.
The State alleges that on June 26 Zvorwadza was in the company of three suspected journalists and four other accomplices who are still at large.
The court heard that they were in possession of video cameras when Zvorwadza took a seat in the foyer and began shouting that he wanted to have breakfast.
Hotel management informed the police about Zvorwadza’s conduct before he was ordered to leave the hotel.
Zvorwadza reportedly refused to leave the hotel and instead shouted while resisting arrest: “You police are always disturbing my peace and abusing me. I am eating (sic) my money but you are after me.”
It was further alleged that Zvorwadza closed the main entrance from inside and demanded that police officers leave the hotel to pave way for their demonstration arguing it was a constitutional right. DailyNews