Bulawayo activist Josphat Ngulube, who was arrested for allegedly leading an illegal demonstration against the deteriorating economic situation in the country has been granted bail.
Ngulube (34) pleaded not guilty to a charge of failure to give notice of a public gathering.
Bulawayo magistrate Franklin Mkhwananzi granted him ZW$100 and remanded him to August 2 for provision of a trial date.
State representative Mufaro Mageza told the court Ngulube’s notice which he submitted to the police on July 13, seeking to demonstrate on July 17 was rejected as it was on short notice.
“The regulating authority noted the accused had not given the 7 day notice as required by the law. He was contacted and advised that the time of notice was not in compliance with the law and so the route which they were to use amongst other requirements was not stated,” said Mageza.
Mageza said on July 15 Ngulube was invited to the regulating officer’s office for consultations and amendment of his notice to meet the dictates of the law but he refused.
“On July 17 at around 12 midday at corner 10th Ave and Fort Street near pick and pay, Ngulube went ahead and convened a public demonstration where members of the public amounting to about 30 people gathered,” he said.
“Shelton Tembo and Goodson Phiri displayed a banner inscribed with the following citizens demonstration, we have suffered enough, this nonsense must stop!!! Our voices will not be silenced and Zimbabweans need solutions to the economic crisis now.”
Ngulube is facing another charge of participating in the violent protests that occurred in January.
He and four other assailants are accused of burning a vehicle belonging to Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial women’s league chairperson Eva Bitu in Sizinda.
They are set to appear in court on July 22, 2019.