UZ Students Finally Granted Bail
18 July 2023
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Harare High Court judge Lucy Mungwari has granted bail to four student activists who were arrested two months ago charged with painting graffiti on some prominent city buildings in protest over the continued incarceration of Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) lawmaker legislator Job Sikhala.

The four, who are University of Zimbabwe students, are Emmanuel Sitima, 24, Comfort Mpofu, 22, Tawanda Watadza, 24, and Lionel Wadamombe.

The students, who are members of ZINASU, were all ordered to deposit Z$500,000 bail each.

The students approached the higher court after Harare magistrate Learnmore Mapiye had denied them bail stating that there was a strong case against them.

The magistrate had said the activists should be denied their freedom to send a message to would-be offenders that tampering with state institutions will not be tolerated.

The students are facing seven counts of malicious damage to property, and are alternatively being charged with counts of criminal nuisance.

Allegations are that on May 14, 2023, the four, together with others who are still at large, went around protesting for the release of Sikhala from pre-trial detention.

It is alleged that the students defaced government buildings in the Harare CBD and spray painted the words “Free Wiwa”, “Free Job Sikhala”.

Prosecutors allege they drew graffiti on the High Court of Zimbabwe building walls, Parliament building, the Methodist Trinity Church building and the Constitutional Court building.

They allegedly did the same at the Harare Civil Court, Runhare House building and at Karigamombe Centre.