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Top lawyer Thabani Mpofu secures release of Nyastime 14 CCC activists

The 14 opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) members of Nyastime who were arrested together with party MPs Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole over controversial charges of inciting public violence have been released after the intervention of prominent constitutional lawyer Thabani Mpofu.

They were arrested on June 14 for protesting against the murder of CCC activist Moreblessing Ali. In arresting them, the police accused them of planning to avenge the death of Ali whose remains were buried in pieces.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum confirmed the release of the opposition activists on ZWL50 000 bail each.

“The 14 Nyatsime detainees have been granted ZWL50 000 bail each by the High Court.

“They were represented by Thabani Mpofu, duly instructed by Noble Chinhanu, Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum.

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“Of the 16 arrested in connection with the Nyatsime violence in June, only Sikhala remains caged,” the forum said.

The names of the 14 activists are: Precious Jeche, Audious Makoma, Misheck Guzha, Shepherd Bulakazi, Tatenda Pindahama, Enoch Tsoka, Emmanuel Muradzikwa, Chauya Shopa, Roan Tsoka, Zephaniah Chinembiri, Zecks Makoni, Robert Madzokera, Clever Sibanda and Ephrage Gwavava.

Advocate Thabani Mpofu
Advocate Thabani Mpofu

CCC leader Nelson Chamisa thanked his colleague Thabani Mpofu for representing the 14 activists.

“GOOD NEWS…BAIL GRANTED! Finally the Nyatsime 14 have been granted bail. Now Hon ⁦Job Sikhala must be granted bail.⁩ Thanks to ⁦Advocate Thabani Mpofu for representing our citizens heroes. Glory be to God,” Chamisa wrote on his Twitter handle.

Sithole was released last week, two days before the arrival of the Commonwealth delegation. This, however, raised suspicion that President Emmerson Mnangagwa wanted to hoodwink the delegation into believing that the human rights situation was improving under his government.

The Commonwealth Mission is in the county assessing whether Zimbabwe deserves re-admission to the group in terms of respect for human rights, rule of law and other tenets of democracy.

Meanwhile, Sikhala and Sithole’s trial was expected to begin on Tuesday at the Harare Magistrates Court.

They are represented by Jeremiah Bamu and Beatrice Mtetwa, under the instruction of Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.