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Harare Magistrate Dismisses Charges Against Zimbabwean Activist

A Harare magistrate cleared National Constitutional Assembly Chairman Lovemore Madhuku of charges that he organized an illegal protest early this month. Magistrate Chip Matibiri ruled there was no evidence he had organised the demonstration.

Madhuku, charged under Zimbabwe's draconian Public Order and Security Act, was free on bial and represented by attorney Alec Muchadehama, who argued that the demonstration was organised by the NCA as an entity, not by Madhuku himself.

The state argued there was reasonable suspicion he committed the offence as some protesters came from rural areas, indicating an organized effort.

Madhuku told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe the decision frees him to devote more time to the NCA and pursue further action - the National Constitutional Assembly seeks a sweeping rewrite of the constitution.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...