Simasimpe Reeds Tshuma (25), a member of the Zimbabwe People Power Movement (ZPPM) has been arrested and charged for allegedly undermining the State after he was found in Dete asking residents to sign a petition calling for international intervention in the Zimbabwean crisis.
About 600 people had signed the petition when Tshuma was arrested on September 12.
Tshuma of 7619 Mkhosana in Victoria Falls allegedly travelled to Dete for the purpose of making members of the public sign a petition calling on the United Nations and other countries to declare a humanitarian disaster in Zimbabwe.
ZPPM is a pressure group-cum-political party.
When he appeared before Matabeleland North magistrate-in-charge Sekai Chiundura, Tshuma was not asked to plead to a charge of “publishing or communicating false statements prejudicial to the State.”
Tshuma was released on $5 000 bail and ordered not to interfere with witnesses or visit Dete where he was arrested, reside at his given Victoria Falls address and to report fortnightly to the Criminal Investigation Department in Victoria Falls as part of his bail conditions.
The accused was remanded to October 19 to allow for further investigations into the matter.
Prosecuting John Chisango Mutyakaviri said the petition alleged that more than 8 million Zimbabweans are in dire need of food and humanitarian support and require urgent food, medicines, and international aid to help recover from the effects of the devastating situation.
“Sometime during the month of June, the accused person joined the Zimbabwe People Power Movement (ZPPM) WhatsApp group where they used to communicate on issues to do with the economic situation in Zimbabwe saying there was a catastrophic challenge that needed urgent help or intervention from the United Nations.
“In August the accused received a bunch of petition leaflets with a communiqué from ZPPM to be signed by Zimbabweans to call for the United Nations and its member states, sister states and other world leaders to consider declaring the state of affairs in Zimbabwe a humanitarian disaster. On 12 September the accused left Victoria Falls for Dete where he went around soliciting for people to sign the petition,” Mutyakaviri said.
Mutyakaviri added that Tshuma had managed to get 600 signatures in Dete’s Mtuya and Soweto suburbs when police arrested him after a tip-off.
According to the State Media, the petition papers had space for citizens to write their names, national identity numbers and signature.