Chitungwiza Residents Trust (CHITREST) Director Alice Kuvheya on Wednesday 16 June 2021 appeared at Chitungwiza Magistrates Court after she was arrested by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and charged with incitement to participate in a gathering with intent to promote public violence.
The 36 year-old Kuvheya was arrested on Monday 14 June 2021 and charged with incitement to participate in a gathering with intent to promote public violence as defined in section 187 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act as read with section 37(1)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
The CHITREST Director was also charged with incitement to commit violence as defined in section 187(1)(a)(b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act as read with section 36(1)(a)(b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
Prosecutors claim that Kuvheya, who is represented by Freddy Masarirevhu of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, communicated, persuaded and induced people to wage war between authorities at Chitungwiza Municipality and some Chitungwiza residents and some informal traders.
The prosecutors charged that Kuvheya recorded a video which she shared on social media platforms in a bid to incite residents and informal traders to resist a government backed exercise to demolish trading and vending stalls and structures.
Kuvheya’s alleged actions, prosecutors argued, would result in public disturbances and disorder.
Kuvheya returns to court on Thursday 17 June 2021, where her application for refusal of remand will be heard before Magistrate Isheanesu Matova. Through his lawyer, Kuvheya is arguing that the facts of the charge of incitement does not constitute or disclose an offence.
On Wednesday 16 June 2021, Magistrate Matova ordered the state to carry out investigations into complaints made by Kuvheya against ZRP wherein she protested against the conduct of police officers who did not advise her about the charge she was facing upon arrest on Monday 14 June 2021 and who also took her from one police station to another and amended the charge several times.
On 10 June 2021, Kuvheya, CHITREST and Harare Residents Trust, who were represented by Rudo Bere of ZLHR, obtained a High Court order granted by Justice Edith Mushore stopping local and central government from carrying out unprocedural demolitions of homes, perimeter walls and informal traders’ structures as the exercise is not in compliance with the law in particular section 32 of the Regional Town and Country Planning Act and section 3 of the Administrative Justice Act.