Newsdeck

Zimbabwe opposition members in court over election violence

By AFP 6 August 2018
Caption
Zimbabwe National Army soldiers in a truck drive through a street in Harare, Zimbabwe, 02 August 2018 EPA-EFE/AARON UFUMELI

Twenty-seven members of Zimbabwe's MDC opposition appeared in court Monday on violence charges after post-election protests that triggered a security crackdown.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, declared winner of the historic first elections since the downfall of Robert Mugabe, has vowed to protect rights since his re-election but the opposition say their members have been targeted.

Police with assault rifles were on duty in the court precinct, with a truck of other officers stationed outside.

Prosecutors opposed bail, saying the accused — 19 men and eight women — were “linked” to the deaths of six people when the army opened fire on opposition supporters protesting against alleged election fraud.

“There’s more than a likelihood that they will re-offend, they will intimidate witnesses, they will interfere with evidence and they will not attend trial,” said prosecutor Michael Reza.

“These are people with unfinished work business outside. The deaths of six people… are directly linked to the accused.”

Defence lawyers said that among the accused was a man who had been coming out of court after another case.

Five other suspects were polling agents who had been visiting MDC headquarters to hand in polling returns and collect travel expenses, they added.

Six people died after troops in the capital Harare opened fire on demonstrators Wednesday, sparking an international outcry and raising grim memories of post-election repression under Mugabe.

Mnangagwa has accused the MDC — the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) — of fomenting the unrest, but also said he would set up an independent commission to investigate the killings.  DM

Gallery

While we have your attention...

An increasingly rare commodity, quality independent journalism costs money - though not nearly as much as its absence.

Every article, every day, is our contribution to Defending Truth in South Africa. If you would like to join us on this mission, you could do much worse than support Daily Maverick's quest by becoming a Maverick Insider.

Click here to become a Maverick Insider and get a closer look at the Truth.


#GUPTALEAKS

How the Guptas tore through red tape to hire Indian nationals illegally

By Jean le Roux for News24

Burger King is called "Hungry Jack's" in Australia. This is due to one restaurant in Adelaide having already claimed the named Burger King.