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State wants Ngarivhume caged

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Blessing Masakadza
STAFF WRITER
masakadzab@dailynews.co.zw

THE State wants the arrested convenor of the planned July 31 protests, Jacob Ngarivhume, to be denied bail, arguing if released he will lead demonstrations that will degenerate into violence.

Opposing Ngarivhume’s admission to bail when he appeared before the Harare Magistrates’ Courts yesterday, prosecutor Michael Reza argued that if released, the accused would risk the lives of many and the country will “run out of pine trees to make coffins”.
Reza said the July 31 proposed demonstrations had become a personal project for Ngarivhume and if he was released, he would strive to accomplish the mission.
Ngarivhume is accused of making a series of tweets, the State claimed were intended to induce people to participate in violent demonstrations.
The State adamantly opposed his admission to bail, arguing that he was likely to destroy evidence by deactivating his Twitter handle if he is freed.
They argued that he faced a maximum of 15 years’ imprisonment  if convicted and it was enough inducement for him to abscond.
“Accused is passionate about July 31, the moment he is released there is work to be done, he will continue,” Reza averred.
Investigations officer in the case, Naison Chirape said from his past experiences, demonstrations would turn violent and lead to destruction of property.
But Ngarivhume, through his lawyer Moses Nkomo, argued that there was no evidence that he would flee from prosecution.
He challenged the investigating officer to explain how Ngarivhume’s alleged tweets urged people to engage in violence.
 He also challenged the cop to prove if the Twitter handle is his.
The cop had a torrid time to justify the allegations and said the matter was a technical and intelligence-led investigation
Nkomo averred that the police had arrested Ngarivhume on speculation that he would commit an offence on July 31.
Ngarivhume was not asked to plead to the charges when he appeared before Harare regional magistrate Trynois Utahwashe.
He was remanded in custody today for bail ruling.

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