By Bulawayo Correspondent
MDC national chair, Thabitha Khumalo (58) and six other party activists, who include Senator Helen Mpofu, were Monday each granted $200 bail by a Bulawayo magistrate.
They were arrested on Saturday for distributing fliers which urged city residents to take part in Monday‘s banned anti-government demonstration which had been planned for the second largest city.
Among their bail conditions, magistrate Tinashe Tashaya also ordered the seven to report at Bulawayo Central police station’s Law and Order division every Friday.
Tashaya also ordered the accused not to interfere with state witnesses.
They are Khumalo, Helen Zivira Mpofu (44), Tendai Masotsha (45), Elliot Mujeri, Tinashe Matimbura (21), Meliginiso Sithole (42) and Shelton Tembo (35).
According to the State, represented by Leonard Tshile, the MDC seven were arrested in Tshabalala high density suburb on Saturday while conducting a door-to-door mobilisation campaign ahead of Monday’s protest which was Sunday banned by police.
“On 17 August 2019, the accused persons who were using accused number one’s (Khumalo) grey Ford Ranger, registration number ADA 1607, whilst acting in common purpose, went around Tshabalala and Nkulumane suburb distributing fliers titled ‘Free Zimbabwe Campaign’ which were addressed to all Zimbabweans,” Tshile told court.
The State further alleges that the fliers falsely asserted that the July 2018 elections were stolen by President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF party.
“The offence was discovered by the police leading to the arrest of the accused persons and recovery of the fliers,” said Tshile.
Nosimilo Chanaiwa and Godfrey Nyoni from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights represented the seven.
Magistrate Tashaya ordered the MDC activists to pay their bail money before 3 September this year.
The group’s lawyers indicated they were going to apply for dismal at the close of the State case.