Political activists escape jail

nyundoMasvingo Bureau
Six political activists in Gutu were last week lucky to escape jail after they were fined by a local magistrates’ court for trying to disrupt voting during the July 31 harmonised elections in two constituencies.Kwashirai Chimwanda (39), Theresa Mandipaushe (24), Phineas Chidya (27) and Vengai Madzinga (25), all of Makore communal lands in Gutu South, were arraigned before Gutu resident magistrate Mr Nyasha Vitorini for violating the Electoral Act after they went to a polling station in Gutu South constituency wearing party regalia marked with symbols of their party.

Two others; Kudakwashe Dekeya (30) and Rodgers Kanyemba (33) of Chartsworth were also arraigned before the same court for violating the Electoral Act after refusing to vacate a polling station and obstructing people to enter a polling station to vote.

Mr Vitorini fined Chimwanda, Mandipaushe, Chidya and Madzinga US$30 each after convicting them on their own plea of guilty.
Dekeya and Kanyemba were fined US$100 each after they were also convicted on their own plea of guilty.

Charges against Chimwanda, Mandipaushe, Chidya and Madzinga arose on 31 July in Makore communal lands in Gutu South constituency when they went to one of the polling stations in the area wearing party regalia.

The quartet was arrested after they tried to force their way into a polling station to vote.
Dekeya and Kanyemba were also arrested on July 31 in Gutu West constituency.

Dekeya refused to vacate a polling station after casting his vote insisting that he wanted to stay there until the end of the voting process.
He was immediately apprehended by police.

Kanyemba was arrested after he was reported to the police by a group of villagers he had waylaid on their way to a polling station in Gutu West and ordered them to go back home.

Ms Beatrice Mukaro appeared for the State.

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