Three Bulawayo activists were granted bail of ZWL$20 000 each after they were arrested Thursday on allegations of public violence.
Thamsanqa Ncube, Vice Chairperson of Ibhetshu LikaZulu, and Melusi ‘Coltart’ Nyathi, member, as well as Samkeliso Tshuma, leader of The Girls Table organisation, were charged under Section 37 (1) (a) (ii) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:12, which is participating in gathering with intent to promote public violence, breaches of the peace, and bigotry.
The trio were arrested after gathering at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Statue with the intention of marching to Stanley Hall in Makokoba, as part of the programme to honour Gukurahundi victims organised by Ibhetshu LikaZulu.
The police blocked the event on the basis that the organisers had not been cleared to hold the march.
Ibhetshu LikaZulu considers December 22 to be the end of the genocide and usually hosts Gukurahundi commemorations on Unity Day.
Arresting officers claim Ncube, Nyathi, and Tshuma were going around carrying a Gukurahundi banner, which the trio denies.
The three appeared at the Tredgold Magistrates Court on Friday before Bulawayo Magistrate Busani Sibanda, who granted them bail and remanded them out of custody until January 20, 2023.
They were ordered to stay at their assigned addresses and not interfere with ongoing investigations or witnesses.
Their defence stated that on January 20, the State will be notified that applications to dismiss the charges and refuse further remand will be made.
When the three first appeared before the magistrate in the morning, Sibanda stated that he could not handle the case because it should have been handled by the provincial magistrate and adjourned the case until after 2 pm.
Mbuso Fuzwayo, Secretary General of Ibhetshu LikaZulu, told CITE after the ruling that it was unfortunate that people were constantly oppressed by the State.
“People are oppressed when they are honouring their relatives who were killed by the government, the same government that arrests them for something they did not do. This is the same government that also fines and charges them an exorbitant amount,” he said.
“Anyway, it shall be well, God is for everyone. You cannot kill people and think you are clever or get away with it.”
Fuzwayo also said if the government was sincere about solving Gukurahundi, it must listen to the victims and survivors.
“You can’t claim to resolve Gukurahundi when you are doing nothing, then also oppress people. When will the victim be ever given a chance to say how Gukurahundi can be solved?”
“We can’t follow the narrative made by (President) Emmerson (Mnangagwa) when his hands are full of blood and now is prescribing the solution. That is disrespecting people and playing mind games.”