MDC Alliance youths who were arrested for violating Covid-19 regulations after staging a flash protest during lockdown have filed a court application to have the matter dismissed.
The demonstration was against government failings and lack of social protection for the poor during the coronavirus lockdown.
The activists – legislator Joana Mamombe, Stanley Manyenga, Cecelia Revai Chimbiri, Makomborero Haruzivishe and Lovejoy Chitengu were arrested in Warren Park last year.
They appeared Wednesday before Harare magistrate Taurai Manuere being represented by Alec Muchadehama, Gift Mtisi and Jeremiah Bamu.
Muchadehama told the court that they intend to file an application for exception saying the charges they are facing do not show any offense. Muchadehama said:
The accused persons intend to except the charges. The reason we allowed the charges to be read is because procedurally an accused person can except to the charges they know and that have been put to them.
This exception is being taken in terms of section 171 subsection 1 of the CPA. The accused persons did not want to plead before an application of exception.
That being the case in terms of going forward I am in a position to make oral submissions before you regarding the application for exception, but it will take a while. In the interests of time, we also urge the court to provide everything we will be submitting and be given an opportunity to put our application in writing.
Muchadehama said that he will file a written submission this week and the state will submit their response next week Wednesday and the ruling will be delivered on 8 October.
Youth leader Obey Sithole and Netsai Marova, who were also facing the same charges are on a warrant of arrest after failing to appear in court and the state wants the two tried separately upon their arrest.