A PROMINENT Gokwe businessman is among 18 suspects of public violence, who allegedly looted maize, food and groceries at Grain Marketing Board (GMB) and Choppies Supermarket in the Midlands town last week.
Chengetanai Takawira (30), who is being charged together with 17 other MDC activists, appeared before Gokwe magistrate Musaiona Shortgame for trial yesterday.
Takawira and his accomplices are being represented by lawyers Reginald Chidawanyika and Solomon Kangembeu.
However, the State witness and police officer, Ediriza Makanje, admitted in court that some of the accused persons were arrested on information supplied by third parties, which could not be proven.
The trial is continuing today.
Allegations are that on January 15 this year, the accused persons and their accomplices, who are still at large, went around the business centre ordering operators to close shops.
They allegedly proceeded to Choppies Supermarket and vandalised the closed circuit television and looted bread, beer and mealie meal.
The gang allegedly vandalised the Gokwe Town Council guardroom and some tuckshops around the terminus.
They also allegedly proceeded to the Zupco garage, destroyed the precast security wall and some asbestos sheets before threatening to burn two parked buses.
They allegedly later attacked a police base in the town and proceeded to the GMB depot, where they looted several bags of maize and loaded them into their vehicles.
It is alleged the accused persons vandalised and stole property worth $30 000. Michael Mhene represented the State.