…as Chikwinya, Mukapiko are granted bail
BULAWAYO: Previously docked opposition MDC Alliance legislators, Mbizo constituency’s Settlement Chikwinya and his Redcliff counterpart Lloyd Mukapiko literally breathed a huge sigh of relief after they were granted bail and subsequently freed from the wrath of remand prison following their appearance at the Bulawayo High Court over the weekend.
Chikwinya and Mukapiko are facing charges of attempting to subvert a constitutionally elected government and contributing to the incitement of violence during the recent mass stay-away which was also typified by violent demonstrations leaving a trail of destruction in the country’s major towns and cities where the labour demonstrations were more pronounced.
On Friday, Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Martin Makonese finally granted a $300-each bail to the two legislators. As part of their bail conditions, the two opposition legislators were advised that they should continue staying at their given addresses and report every Friday at the Law and Order department, Kwekwe Central police station.
The two MPs- on remand prison for more than two weeks now- were also advised not to engage in any form of demonstration and were also barred from addressing any public gathering whilst on bail.
Chikwinya and Mukapiko are set to appear on February 8 for retrial of their matter. The duo was arrested for allegedly inciting the violence which gripped Zimbabwe during the mass stay-away codenamed ‘Shutdown Zimbabwe’.
During and after the violent Shutdown Zimbabwe, quite a remarkable number of opposition members, activists and civic society leaders have been arrested on charges related to the incitement of the violence which saw shops being burnt while most shops were looted by rioting Zimbabweans.
Opposition MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has also publicly said that he is wary of the situation in the country after the state clampdown on opposition members has resulted in the arrest of six serving parliamentarians from the main opposition party.