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#Tajamuka leader granted bail

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Zimbabwe Government WARNS SOCIAL MEDIA USERS

Local pressure group Tajamuka/Sesijikile leader, Promise Mkwananzi, has been granted $300 bail following his weekend arrest over allegations of inciting public violence.

Mkwananzi (35), famed for his series of protests demanding Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko vacate his hotel room, was not asked to plead when he appeared before Harare magistrate Tendai Mahwe.Zimbabwe Government WARNS SOCIAL MEDIA USERS

The court remanded him to August 8.

As part of his bail conditions, Mkwananzi was ordered to report to the police every Friday, reside at the given address and not to interfere with State witnesses.

Prior to the granting of bail, Mkwananzi’s lawyer, Trust Maanda, grilled State witness, George Garauzive, to prove the existence of the Tajamuka/Sesijikile group, and the witness failed to provide the evidence.

The witness was further taken to task by Maanda, who asked him to read from the charge sheet the value of property destroyed, which was indicated as nil, to which he said it was a typographical error, but should have read as $1 000.

Allegations against Mkwananzi are that on June 16 this year, he together with his alleged accomplices, who are still at large, went around the Harare central business district inciting the public to protest over cash shortages.

Mkwananzi allegedly told the public that the cash shortages were being caused by Mphoko’s continued stay in a top city hotel at the taxpayers’ expense.

The State further alleges Mkwananzi and his accomplices later proceeded to Mphoko’s Choppies Supermarket along Nelson Mandela Avenue where they sang revolutionary songs demanding the closure of the shop while wearing T-shirts inscribed “Tajamuka”.

It is alleged they picked stones and avocado pears from vendors and threw them into the supermarket, damaging groceries, shelves and tills.
Sebastian Mutizirwa appeared for the State.

Meanwhile, the 20 Beitbridge protesters denied bail last week over public violence charges have approached the High Court for redress.

Their lawyer, Reason Mutimba, said the lower court had failed failed to look at the personal circumstances of each of the accused.

“The court handled the accused people as a group instead of looking at individual circumstances of each accused,” he said.

Besides, he said, the court in its ruling misdirected itself by failing to address issues raised by both the State and the defence.

In denying them bail, Beitbridge magistrate, Gloria Takundwa argued that the suspects were likely to interfere with investigations.

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