Four Zaka district Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party leaders who were arrested for convening a meeting were each granted ZW $ 10 000 bail when they appeared before magistrate Farai Gwitima on May 24.
The quartet was represented by Martin Mureri of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.
The four, Method Mugwagwa (49) CCC’s district organizing secretary for Zaka North constituency, Manners Zindoga (51) party district chairperson Zaka North Constituency, Johannes Chongore (55) party district elections officer for Zaka Central Constituency and Tendai Machisani (59) party chairperson for Wowonde branch Zaka North constituency pleaded not guilty to the charges.
On May 21 police in Zaka received information that the CCC members were having an unauthorized meeting at Machisani’s homestead there by contravening Maintenance of Peace and Order (MOPA) Act.
Upon arrival, police found 35 people who were attending the meeting and asked them if the meeting was authorized.
The four leaders were arrested.
In an interview with TellZim News, Mureri said the matter was postponed to June 22 and his clients pleaded not guilty arguing they were arrested only because they are members of the CCC.
“I understand my clients had not sought permission from proper authorities but we are not talking about a rally or any demonstrations, otherwise it was only a meeting. We all know they were arrested because they are members of the CCC because if we have to take it to law, there is nothing in any way which was done to violate peace and order act. We are going back to court on June 22 and we will stand our ground,” said Mureri.
Police have on a number of occasions accused of being partisan as they crack on opposition party activists while at the same time exonerating Zanu PF supporters when they engage in similar activities.