Two MDC Alliance legislators have been charged for subverting a constitutionally elected government following the looting and violence that rocked the country this week.
The two: Mbizo Constituency’s Settlement Chikwinya and Redcliff’s Lloyd Mukapiko appeared before Kwekwe magistrate, Ms Vimbai Mutukwa today (Saturday) and were remanded in custody to the 24th of January for further remand.
The accused through their lawyers were advised to apply for bail at the High Court due to the nature of their offense.
The state led by Prosecutor Devine Chakombera said the two legislators are charged for subverting a constitutional government as defined in section 22(2)(a)(iii) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act following an address they made at Redcliff during the week which was said to have been widely circulated on social media.
The contents of the video, the state alleged, were meant to subvert a constitutional government in that the legislators were coercing Zimbabwean workers to embark on a work boycott and encouraging civil disobedience and resistance to the country’s laws.
Their defense counsel led by Mr Takaendesa Kamacheche had challenged the placement of the accused persons on remand, arguing that their clients’ rights were violated upon arrest. They also argued that the accused persons were never advised of their rights upon arrests in violation of section 50 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
Mr Kamacheche also argued that the charges the accused persons were facing were defective as they did not reveal the offense of the accused persons, a position which was successfully opposed by the state counsel.
In throwing out the defense counsel’s application, Ms Mutukwa ruled that there was a need to balance between the rights of the accused and the interest of justice.
The two accused persons will appear at the Kwekwe Magistrate Courts on Thursday for further remand, while waiting to be indicted to the High Court for trial.