POLITICS

MDC Activist, Haruzivishe, risks 20 years jail term after double conviction

MDC Alliance activist Makomborero Haruzivishe faces a possible 20-year-jail sentence after he was convicted of inciting public violence and resisting police arrest on Wednesday, his lawyer said.

Haruzivishe, who has other pending cases including kidnapping, was found guilty by Harare magistrate Judith Taruvinga and now awaits sentencing next Tuesday.

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), whose member Kossam Ncube is representing the activist, disagreed with the verdict saying the magistrate “based her judgment on circumstantial evidence.”

Ncube, who will argue for a mitigated sentence on April 6, told VOA Studio 7 that each conviction carried a penalty of up to 10 years in jail or a fine or both.

“The court has an option to impose a fine or sentence him to 10 years on each conviction or both fine and sentence,” Ncube said.

The MDC Alliance, Zimbabwe’s biggest opposition party led by Nelson Chamisa, condemned the conviction calling it “yet another case of the weaponization of the law to persecute our members unjustly.”

Party spokesperson Fadzai Mahere added: “The conviction of Makomborero marks a sad day for freedom and constitutional rights in Zimbabwe. He is innocent. It is not a crime to demand a better society. The regime has declared war on aspiration and young people. We need new leaders.”

The feisty activist’s legal woes have mounted over the past several months as he faced a series of charges for taking part in pro-democracy protests.

A court revoked his bail recently after finding he wilfully defaulted on three appearances.

The MDC Alliance national executive member faces a charge of kidnapping Impala Car Rental workers, for which he was denied bail, among other cases.

Haruzivishe’s fellow opposition activists Joana Mamombe, MP for Harare West, and Cecilia Chimbiri also remain in remand prison after High Court judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi turned down their bail appeal on March 25 saying the two had a penchant for breaking the law.

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