MDC legislators remanded in custody

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GARIKAYI MATAVA-POLITICAL WRITER

KWEKWE- MDC Alliance legislators, Settlement Chikwinya (Mbizo) and Lloyd Mukapiko (Redcliff) who are facing charges of subverting a constitutional government will have to wait until Thursday next week for trial of their case after Kwekwe magistrate Vimbai Mutukwa remanded them in custody to January 24.
The two were arrested on Friday in Kwekwe around 1pm and they are being accused of having incited the public to embark on violence following a meeting they reportedly held at Redlion Mini Bar in the Midlands mining town. It is the state’s case that on January 12 at around 2100hrs, Chikwinya and Mukapiko addressed a public meeting at Redlion Bar inciting the general public to embark in public violence codenamed ‘National Shutdown’.
According to state papers, the meeting in question reportedly resulted in various civic groups committing acts of violence in areas like Gweru, Gokwe, Harare and Bulawayo resulting in the loss of other people’s lives whilst others were seriously injured. It is further alleged that on January 14, Chikwinya made a facebook post on his timeline ‘thanking those who had heeded to the call for mass stay-away and total shutdown’. The outspoken Mbizo MP reportedly further encouraged people to keep on pressurising the government ‘in whatever forms so that it will bow to the masses’ needs’.
In their defence, the MPs- who are being represented by lawyers Takashinga Pamacheche and Wellington Davira of Gundu, Dube and Pamacheche Legal practioners- argued that the state papers were in shambles adding that the papers did not mention the arresting officer. The defence counsel also argued that the signed caution statement differed from the charge and the defence further questioned the legality of the arrest.
Prosecuting, Devine Chagombera said the state provided the name of the arresting officer and also argued that the case in question was of a higher magnitude which could not easily be ignored. The presiding magistrate said the co-accused can still apply for bail whilst in custody.