#Shutdownzim protester let off the hook

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A Harare man who was implicated in participation in the #Shutdownzim demos has been set free by the court.

A Harare man who stood accused of causing havoc and violence in the capital city last week has been found not  guilty and acquitted of charges by a Harare Magistrate.

Munyaradzi Kufahakurotwe who was being represented by Tonderai Bhatasara was acquitted of public violence charges at the close of the State’s case after he applied for discharge before Harare magistrate Victoria Mashamba.

In his application which was granted before the court, Kufahakurotwe argued that there was no evidence to prove the essential elements of the offense and that there was no evidence on which a reasonable court, acting carefully might properly convict.

“The evidence adduced on behalf of the State is so manifestly unreliable that no reasonable court could safely act on it,” he said.

“From the evidence of the State witness it was not established that accused acted in consent with any other identified person in committing public violence. The accused was arraigned before the court alone and it is not competent for one to be charged with public violence and still appear in court alone. At the end of the State’s case there is no evidence on record of the accused acting in consent to forcibly and to a serious extent disturb peace or realizing the risk or possibility.The State case is afflicted with irreconcilable contradictions. The discrepancies are material since the case is based on a single witness.

He also argued that the State is relying on the general allegation of common purpose without specifying what accused specifically did that constitutes public violence. Bhatasara went on to argued that there’s no satisfactory explanation given by the witness as to why a passenger who was allegedly in his car was not made a State witness.

In response, Prosecuting Idah Maromo opposed the application on the basis that the admissible evidence presented by the State proved the essential elements of the offense.

Allegations were that on January 16 at around 1300, Munyaradzi Kufahakutizwe and his accomplices who are believed to be still at large connived to carry out acts of public violence in Mabvuku. Acting in cahoots, they barricaded Kariyana Street and Manresa Road using boulders blocking the traffic flow.

Kufahakutizwe was accused of stoning and damaging Nyamukondiwa’s Toyota Surf which was negotiating its way through the barricaded road.

He was accused of demanding an $80 toll fee to pass through the barricaded road.

21 other people who were being accused of the same offense have long been acquitted before the same court.