By Romeo Takundwa
Chitungwiza Magistrate Gladys Moyo on Wednesday dismissed Chitungwiza Residents (CHITREST) Director Alice Kuvheya’s case as “defective” as the alleged charges by the state did not constitute a criminal offense.
Kuvheya who was arrested on the 14th of June on charges of inciting public violence after she publicly spoke out against the demolitions of ‘illegal’ structures by council in the dormitory town through a video had appeared in court for her verdict.
She is being represented by Freddy Masarirevhu of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) who confirmed the dismissal of the charges to Bustop TV.
“The application for exception has been granted and the charges were ruled to be defective. The court held that the charges lacked particularity on what exactly was criminal about the utterances in the alleged video.
“This means she cannot be prosecuted based on the charges as they are, unless if the state wants to change and bring in something new from the same video. Clearly from the court’s ruling, there is nothing more to bring, the words alleged to have been uttered cannot be changed and therefore l see no possibility of them bringing it back,” said Masarireivhu.
Sometime in May this year, the vibrant residents leader expressed dissatisfaction over demolitions of “illegal” structures through a video which was instigated by a statement from Chitungwiza Municipality Town Clerk, Evangelista Machona threatening informal traders with loss of life should they resist demolitions.
Soon afterwards Provincial Development Coordinator (PDC) for Harare Metropolitan Province, Tafadzwa Muguti made a statement alleging that CHITREST was inciting public violence and the police will take “decisive action”.
“We also take notice that we have a lot of opposition politicians who have gone on record yesterday mobilising demonstrations in Chitungwiza and also CHITREST which is a community-based organisation affiliated to some of the politicians where they have been making statements inciting public violence. Their report has been made to the Zimbabwe Republic Police and we will take decisive action,” said Muguti.
These series of events led to Kuvheya’s arrest on the 14th of June and she has been appearing in court ever since.