SEVEN people, including an entertainment promoter-cum-DJ, alleged to have taken part in the violent January protests this year, which saw three cars belonging to Zanu-PF Bulawayo provincial Women’s League chairperson, Eve Bitu being burnt, as well as her house being damaged have been acquitted.
Marshal Mpofu (37), the entertainment promoter-cum DJ, Esther Mbewe (53), Fortune Masuku (29), Angeline Mwemba (41), Minenhle Mahlangu (28), Mwale Chifufu (34) and Duduzile Amisi (39), were all acquitted and discharged after the State found no evidence linking them to the crime.
The seven were discharged by Bulawayo magistrate Mr Tinashe Tashaya last Friday.
Five other suspects, who include Bulawayo South losing independent candidate Josphat “Mzaca” Ngulube (34) are expected to appear in court next week, where they will be put on their defence.
The other four are Melusi Moyo (32), Lavender Moyo (66), Thabisani Ngwenya (32) and Otilia Sibanda (34).
The 12 who were arrested in February this year, appeared in court before being granted bail.
The State’s case is that the accused persons, acting in connivance with 100 others, unlawfully blocked free movement of traffic at an intersection along Sizinda Road and Nketa Drive.
They allegedly engaged in acts of violence.
They went to Bitu’s residence and threw stones and destroyed a precast wall to gain access to the yard.
They destroyed window panes before torching her three cars, a Ford Ranger, Nissan NP 300 and a Toyota Vitz.
“They also damaged roofing sheets and the complainant managed to escape uninjured together with her family,” said Ms Grace Zhou, prosecuting.
The court heard that the accused persons proceeded to Tshabalala Housing Office and clinic where they allegedly stoned the buildings.
Source: Zim Eye