MDC Alliance activist Makomborero Haruzivishe faces a possible 20-year-jail sentence after he was convicted of inciting public violence and resisting police arrest on Wednesday.
Haruzivishe, who has other pending cases including kidnapping, was found guilty by Harare magistrate Judith Taruvinga and now awaits sentencing next Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the MDC Alliance condemned the conviction describing it as “political persecution” and “weaponization of the law.”
They said Makomborero was not supposed to be arrested in the first place as he was not part of the protesting vendors.
“According to his lawyers, the conviction itself is controversial as it is based on circumstantial evidence. He was convicted of resisting the arrest of a police officer who gave evidence that he was not the one who arrested Mako.
“The court further convicted him of inciting violence because he was at Chicken Inn, First Street on a day vendors had running battles with the police, as they often do when they’re attacked for “illegal vending”. He was not part of the protesting vendors.
“With no evidence connecting him to the vendors’ running battles, he was charged with inciting public violence. This is meant to send a chilling effect to our members & to silence dissent. We will pursue multiple strategies to challenge these threats to our democracy.” #FreeMako. MDC Alliance posted on social media.
Haruzivishe’s fellow opposition activists Joana Mamombe, MP for Harare West, and Cecilia Chimbiri also remain in remand prison after High Court judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi turned down their bail appeal on March 25 saying the two had a penchant for breaking the law.