Anti-constitutional amendments activists granted $3K bail each

TWO civil society activists arrested in Harare on Friday during a protest against the on-going public hearings for Constitutional Amendment No.2 Bill have been released on $3 000 bail.

Namatai Kwekweza, 22, a member of WeLead Organisation for Young People and Esther Vongai Zimudzi, 23, of Section 20 Organisation, appeared before Harare magistrate Barbra Mateko on Saturday.

They were charged with participating in a gathering with intent to promote public violence.

Mateko ordered the two to continue residing at their present addresses, report once a week to the police and surrender their passports as part of bail conditions.

Kwekweza and Zimudzi, represented by Tinashe Chinopfukutwa of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, will be back in court on July 20.

Allegations are that on June 19 around 3pm, Kwekweza and Zimudzi went to New Government Complex, corner Central Avenue and Fourth Street in Harare, intending to hand over a petition to Justice and Parliamentary minister Ziyambi Ziyambi in which they expressed their disagreement with the Constitution Amendment No.2  Bill public hearings held nationwide.

The handover occasion was supposed to be attended by other members of WeLead Organisation for Young People and Section 20.

It was alleged that Kwekweza and Zimudzi then sat at the entrance of the New Government Complex and used a loud hailer and held placards to protest.

“A senseless charade in the name of Constitution Amendment No.2 Bill public hearings, Minister you are out of order, Ngazvitangidzwe, 3,3 million Zimbabweans were consulted about the Constitution in 2013, 94,4 percent voted yes. Don’t amend the Constitution until you consult the 3,3 million Zimbabweans. Stop cosmetic constitution; don’t take advantage of Covid-19,” read the placards.

The State alleged the inscriptions on the placards were abusive and intended to provoke a breach of the peace.

Kwekweza and Zimudzi were arrested by a police officer who was manning the New Government Complex.

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