By Tichaona Sibanda
19 March 2012
University of Zimbabwe Lecturer and former MDC-T MP, Munyaradzi Gwisai, was on Monday found guilty of conspiracy to incite public violence with a view to overthrowing the unity government.
Gwisai was convicted together with Antoinette Choto, Tatenda Mombeyarara, Edson Chakuma, Hopewell Gumbo and Welcome Zimuto. They will be sentenced on Tuesday and lawyers are hoping it will be a non-custodial one.
An alert on the Crisis on Zimbabwe Coalition Facebook page said Harare provincial Magistrate Kudakwashe Jarabini found the six guilty of conspiracy to commit a crime under section 188 of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act.
The group was arrested in February last year, together with 39 other human rights activists. Police claimed then that the group was plotting to destabilise the government when they watched video footage of the Egypt uprising. Initially when they were arrested, police accused the group of treason but downgraded the charges to inciting public violence.
Our Harare correspondent Simon Muchemwa told us the conviction was roundly condemned by leaders from the civil society organizations who packed the court room. Most said the judgment was ‘a political one’ meant to appease those in ZANU PF.
‘There was general disagreement by many who were in the court room. They were accusing the magistrate of acting like agents of ZANU PF,’ Muchemwa added.