Wednesday, September 22, 2021
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Widowed ARTUZ gender secretary Chisirimunhu gets bail

Colleen Chitsa

Masvingo High Court judge Justice Neville Wamambo yesterday, January 05,
2021, granted bail pending appeal to Amalgamated Rural Teacher Union Zimbabwe
(Artuz) Masvingo provincial secretary for gender, Shilla Chisirimunhu who had
spent a few weeks in prison.

Justice Wamambo ordered Chisirimunhu to pay bail amounting to RTGS$2 000
and to report at Chesvingo Police Station in Masvingo once every last Friday of
the month.

He ordered Chisirimunhu to continue residing at her given residential
address until the finalisation of her appeal lodged at Masvingo High Court
against both conviction and sentence.

On December 18, 2020, Chisirimunhu was sentenced to 16 months in prison
by the Masvingo Magistrate Mbonisi Ndlovu who had convicted her on allegations
of inciting public violence.

She had been arrested in June 22, 2020, after
she allegedly staged a demonstration at the Masvingo district education offices
in Mucheke.

There was a public outcry against both conviction and
sentence, which the public felt were unjust and disproportionate respectively.

Represented by Martin Mureri of Matutu and Mureri Legal
Practitioners who took instructions from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights,
Chisirimunhu took her matter up to the High Court which finally granted her
bail.

In an interview with TellZim, Mureri said he was
pleased that his client had finally got bail which she justly deserved.

“We are pleased by the decision of the High Court which
accepted the merits of our presentation of this case. We are now working hard
to ensure that she gets her freedom back unconditionally,” said Mureri.

The State’s Unice Shoko claimed that Chisirimunhu
participated in a gathering with intent to promote public violence, in breach of
peace or bigotry as defined in Section 37(i) (a) (i) of the Criminal Law
(Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.

 The 53-year-old widow and rural school teacher
alternatively faced a charge of contravening Section 4(a) (i) of Statutory
Instrument 83/20 as read with Section 3(a) of Statutory Instrument 110/20 which
prohibits ‘unnecessary movement during the national lockdown’.

 The State further alleged that Chisirimunhu,
in the company of 50 other colleagues, some of whom were arrested but later acquitted,
went to the education offices chanting songs that denounced the local currency
while raising placards.

Chisirimunhu denied the charges, arguing that
she was not part of the said group and that she was arrested one kilometre away
from the venue of the purported gathering.

 

 

 

 

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