Five Zanu PF members believed to be behind the violence that rocked a Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) rally at Mbizo 4 Shopping Centre last Sunday, have appeared in court facing murder and public violence charges.
Edmore Shoshera, Albert Maketo Tembo, Percy Mukwaturi, Talent Imbayago and Panashe Makuvaza appeared before Kwekwe Magistrate Mrs Florence Nago and were remanded in custody to March 15.
Police initially picked up 16 suspects but the bulk of them were released without charge.
The five were not asked to plead when they appeared before Mrs Nago.
According to prosecutor Ms Ethel Bhumure, the five, acting in connivance, stabbed Mbongeni Ncube with a sharp object leading to his death upon admission to Kwekwe General Hospital.
The gang also reportedly threw stones and spears and used knives and sjamboks as well as catapults to cause bodily harm to people who were attending the rally.
The group also allegedly damaged motor vehicles and deflated tyres leaving one person dead and many injured.
The five were represented by Liberty Mashanyare of Mavhiringidze and Mashanyare Legal Partners.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) in a statement, has condemned violent clashes and urged all political parties to shun all forms of political violence.
“As the country prepares for the by-elections to be held on the 26th of March, the ZHRC has noted with great concern the recent reports of violent clashes at rallies and calls upon all political parties and relevant stakeholders to shun all forms of politically motivated violence. Section 67 (2) (b) of the Constitution guarantees of own choice and therefore the Commission strongly condemns political violence as it is a violation of political rights and freedoms,” said ZHRC in a statement.
“Political tolerance should be encouraged and violence should be condemned by all political parties and actors.
“The Commission particularly condemns the use of inflammatory language by some political actors during campaign rallies which causes tension amongst members of various political parties.
“Political leaders have an obligation to not only ensure that electoral processes take place in a transparent and peaceful manner, but are also responsible for preventing and discouraging their supporters from resorting to any type of violence before, during and after elections,” said the statement.
The ZHRC also urged law enforcement agents to conduct their duties without fear or favour.
“The Commission urges law enforcement agents to impartially enforce the law without fear or favour so that political parties freely hold their election campaigns and rallies without unjustified stringent measures or requirements,” said the statement.