By Lionel Saungweme | Twelve Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) activists accused of formenting last Sunday’s intra-party violence at the MDC-T offices have been granted bail.
The group is charged with public violence, contravening section 36 of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act Cap 9.23. Bulawayo Magistrate Franklin Mkhwananzi gave the first, third up to twelfth accused bail at US$50, while second accused Gift Banda was released on US$200. Prosecutor Jeremiah Mutsindikwa did not oppose bail.
The twelve, namely Cllr Mlandu Ncube, Gift Banda, Michael Mabasa, Edith Moyo, Sibongubuhle Sibanda, Takunda Madzana, Robson Tera, Eric Gono, Donald Mabutho, Felix Mhaka, Raymond Gombedza and Kunashe Muchemwa were represented by nine lawyers. They were asked to report once a month to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Law & Order Department, not to interfere with state witnesses and not to engage in any unlawful acts of violence.
Defence for the accused argued that police acted partially when they failed to act upon their reports of violence. The lawyer argued that because police chose to arrest his clients when they were expected to investigate, he is therefore seeking an order compelling the police did not investigate but proceeded to arrest them