HARARE – Close to two dozen activists from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC have been denied bail by magistrate Don Ndirowei.
The group is alleged to have worn golf T-shirts inscribed “Ministry of Home Affairs” and caps with the Zimbabwe Government logo and moved around door to door asking if people had registered to vote.
In his ruling, Ndirowei said though the activists are presumed innocent until proven guilty, there were still some issues that needed to be solved.
“The State’s fears are founded as investigations are still underway. As such the bail application is dismissed,” Ndirowei said.
In opposing bail, investigating officer Edmore Kahoba said though investigations were still in their infancy, if granted bail the gang would commit a similar offence as there were still some missing exhibits.
Kahoba said of the eight voters’ rolls that had been acquired at the Zec offices, only three were accounted for and that one Sipelile Dzimati, the coordinator of the exercise, was still on the run.
Defence counsel Denford Halimani however said the State was acting on malice as it was creating fictitious outstanding accused persons when they had arrested everyone.
Maxwell Tosvo, 35, Martha Makuwatsine, 52, Moud Mukarati, 49, Livingstone Gatsi, 39, Pharaoh Kapfunde, 41, Innocent Mutukwa, 23, Clever Bondera, 36, Rebecca Muzire, 42, Maclaren Kapwanya, 27, Bigboy Kadungure, 36, Cairo Kapwanya, 27, Betty Ticharwa, 53, Gladys Muzerengwa, 43, Beauty Billiate, 51, Angeline Mhokore, 55, Memory Bechani, 45, Lovemore Tsoko, 21, Antonette Mapfumo, 42, and Tracy Maponde, 64, are facing charges of impersonation.
The court heard the gang was divided into three groups led by Maxwell Tosvo, Moudy Mukarati and Martha Makuwatsine and moved in their Hatcliffe neighbourhood checking if residents were on the voters roll.
Those on the list were allegedly ordered to go and register immediately.
On April 25, police acting on a tip off, arrested the 19 who disclosed that they were members of the MDC and had been acting in connivance with Dzimati, the MDC coordinator for Hatcliffe Ward 42. – Helen Kadirire