July 31 corruption protest organiser Ngarivhume denied bail

Jacob Ngarivhume

OPPOSITION Transform Zimbabwe leader and organiser of the July 31 national protests against high level corruption in the country, Jacob Ngarivhume has been denied bail by Harare magistrate Trynos Utahwashe.

He is facing a charge of incitement to violence after he urged Zimbabwe to protest against looting and corruption allegedly by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s family, associates and members of the ruling party.

The state opposed bail when the politician appeared in court for his initial court hearing Thursday.

Prosecutor Michael Reza and Jonathan Murombedzi argued Ngarivhume had no regard for human life as was being supported by him calling for a demonstration in the middle of a devastating Covid-19 crisis.

In his ruling, the magistrate upheld the state’s arguments.

“From the reading of his allegations, it is clear that he is not encouraging the public to conduct a peaceful demonstration,” ruled Utahwashe.

“The right to demonstrate is not an absolute one.

“There is a written law in Zimbabwe, which limits people to demonstrate, gathering or loitering.

“The fears of the IO (investigating officer) that if held, the demonstration will be riotous is well-grounded and cannot be dismissed. It is a matter of life death.”

He said Ngarivhume’s language was confrontational such that the IO “cannot be faulty in his fears”.

He was remanded in custody to August 6.