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MDC Alliance Activist Jailed for Inciting Public Violence

Makomborero Haruzivishe, June 3, 2019. (C.Mavhunga/VOA)
Makomborero Haruzivishe, June 3, 2019. (C.Mavhunga/VOA)

A member of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change Alliance has been jailed for an effective 20 months for inciting public violence and resisting arrest.

Harare magistrate, Judith Taruvinga, sentenced Makomborero Haruzivishe to 24 months in jail on the first count of incitement of violence and 12 months for the second count. Ten of the 24 months and six of the 12 months were suspended on condition of good behavior.

There were running battles outside the court between the police and supporters of the MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa soon after Makomborero was jailed. A journalist working for 263Chat was injured while he was trying to interview the jailed man’s lawyers.

In mitigation, the MDC Alliance activist’s attorney Kossam Ncube, had pleaded for a non-custodial sentence, saying he has no previous conviction.

But Taruvinga noted that he deserved a custodial sentence for inciting violence even if she pointed out that he did not take part in the public disturbances.

Haruzivishe pleaded not guilty to charges of engaging in public violence in Harare on February 5 last year and resisting arrest.

The state claims that he mobilized vendors to fight against police, who were evicting them from the Harare central business district. He is said to have stoned some of the policemen who were arresting vendors while shouting on top of his voice telling people to resist police “brutality”.

In court documents, police claim that Haruzivishe “became violent and vicious shouting on top of his voice saying in Shona, ‘Munotisungirei? Munota kutiwachisa chete’ (Why are you arresting us? You just want to fix us). He was later on overpowered by the police officers and was arrested.”