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Five MRP members arrested

......accused of disrupting court proceedings and violating lockdown regulations

Five members of the Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) have been arrested for allegedly disrupting court proceedings and violating lockdown regulations.

The quintet was intercepted in the central business district (CBD) this week without exemption letters.

A court heard the five were on the police wanted list after they allegedly interrupted a court session of a fellow member at Western Commonage Magistrates’ court last year in December.

State allegations are that their fellow member, Thando Ngwenya, was appearing before the aforementioned court facing a charge of malicious damage to property when they stormed the courtroom and started chanting solidarity songs forcing court proceedings to stop.

The court heard that one witness who was in attendance on the fateful day identified the now accused persons on Tuesday while parked in the CBD and informed the police.

Welcome Moyo (33), Nqobani Moyo (36), Mongameli Mlotshwa (35), Kelvin Dube (32) and Mcebisi Mgutshini (36) were arraigned before the courts, Wednesday facing charges of disorderly conduct in a public place and unnecessary movement during lockdown.

Through their legal representative, Maqhawe Mpofu of Samp Mlaudzi and Partners,said they were granted ZWL$3, 000 bail each.

Bulawayo provincial magistrate, Shepherd Mjanja, remanded the five to February 25 and ordered that they report to their nearest police station once every fortnight until the matter is finalised.

State representative, Nkathazo Dlodlo narrated to the court that on December 3, 2020, at around 9:40am, Ngwenya, who is a member of MRP, was appearing at Western Commonage Court facing charges of malicious damage to property when the accused persons interrupted court proceedings.

“Accused persons acting in consent with others who are still at large, stormed the court room and disturbed the peace, security and order of the public at West Commonage Court by forcibly entering the courtroom and disturbed the session. They were singing songs forcing the court to adjourn,” Dlodlo said. 

“Their conduct disrupted the court session resulting in the adjournment due to accused persons’ behaviour.

Prisca Sibanda, who was in attendance managed to identify some of the MRP members committing the offence.” 

Dlodlo said on January 19, 2021, Sibanda spotted the accused persons parked at corner Herbert Chitepo and Leopold Takawira Streets and alerted the police leading to their arrest.

“Upon arrest, police demanded exemption letters but the accused persons failed to produce the documents as required by the national lockdown regulations hence were arrested for defiance,” he said.

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