By- a Harare magistrate has released the twenty-six members of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) who were arrested in Budiriro on bail.
Magistrate Yeukai Dzuda granted bail of ZWL$30 000 each while two of the accused, aged 81 and another 72 years, were given free bail.
They were all remanded to 3 February 2023.
CCC national spokesperson, Fadzayi Mahere, announced the development. Mahere said:
BREAKING: The #Budiriro26 have been granted bail by the Magistrates’ Court. They are to pay 30K bail each, report to police once a week and not interfere with witnesses. Thank you to all citizens who flooded the court in solidarity with our change champions.
Mahere said the party was not celebrating the activists’ release. She said:
We don’t celebrate the release of the #Budiriro26. They should never have been arrested in the first place. How can we celebrate 2 weeks of abuse that led to our members contracting Covid in jail? It’s not a crime to say “Ngaapinde Hake Mukomana.” We will not stop saying it! They were arrested two weeks ago when they intended to hold “an unsanctioned” meeting at the house of Costa Machingauta, the opposition MDC Alliance Member of Parliament for Budiriro.
While at the gathering, the accused persons chanted [CCC] political party slogan “Ngaapinde hake Mukomana, 2023 Chamisa chete chete” meaning “let the boy get in, 2023 Chamisa only”.
Members of ZRP Budiriro received a tip-off that the accused were gathered and went to investigate.
Police say upon arrival at Machingauta’s house, officers observed that the accused’s conduct was disturbing the peace of a section of members of the public.
CCC organising secretary Amos Chibaya and Machingauta were among those arrested.