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26 CCC activists granted bail after over 10 days of pre-trial detention

Magistrate Yeukai Dzuda has granted bail to 26 opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) activists including two MPs who were arrested last week for allegedly convening an illegal party meeting.

They were freed after spending more than ten days in prison. The accused persons include elderly people and women who support the main opposition party.

They were represented by human rights lawyers Wilbert Mandinde, Kudzayi Kadzere and Chris Mhike.

CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere confirmed the development but remained defiant that the members had not committed any crime.

She slammed the Zanu-PF regime for breaching the Constitution and persecuting opposition members ahead of the 2023 harmonised general elections.

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“As the CCC, we are not going to stop saying Ngaapinde hake mukomama because section 67 of the Constitution gives us the right to challenge the government,” she said.

“What explanation is there for the fact that someone who is over 80 years old, elderly men and women are brought before the court. 13 of the accused persons were women, one of them was a minor girl child.

“What this shows is that the regime’s paranoia has reached fever levels. They know that a scary defeat is coming in 2023 and they are trying everything they can to disrupt our meetings.”

CCC’s Zengeza West legislator Job Sikhala remains in jail, more than seven months later after being arrested on June 14 last year over allegations of inciting public violence and obstructing the course of justice.

The CCC vice chairman applied for bail more than ten times in vain.

Critics argue that the Zanu-PF government is now operating in default mode to strategically persecute the opposition ahead of the general plebiscite.