A Plumtree-based police officer has appeared in court on allegations of inciting his colleagues to defy an order to thwart the planned July 31 protests.
Levias Ngwenya (36), stationed at Plumtree police camp, pleaded not guilty to two counts of causing disaffection among the police force and the defence forces.
Through his lawyer, Bruce Masamvu of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) Ngwenya was freed on ZWL$500 bail.
Plumtree magistrate Tayengwa Chibanda as part of the bail conditions ordered Ngwenya not to access social media accounts, not to interfere with state witnesses and to reside at the given address until the finalisation of trial.
Magistrate Chibanda remanded the matter to August 28 for the commencement of trial.
For the State, Dorothy Kanengoni, narrated to the court that on July 8, 2020 and at 3 AM Ngwenya posted on his Facebook timeline inciting members of the State security not to adhere to government orders.
“Ngwenya posted that ‘soldiers and police don’t be fooled and brainwashed nekamari kapihwa kasinga tengi chinhu. Don’t be used by Zanu-PF government to attack your brothers and sisters in the health and teaching sectors. The reason why mapihwa nicodemusly is for you to descend heavily on the impoverished civilians who are scheduled to stage a demonstration on July 31. It’s a divide and rule tactic. Wake up and smell the coffee guys. Pasi nekushandiswa nemadhara asina future nesu aya,” Kanengoni said.
“The text has the effect of causing disaffection on members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police and members of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces. The accused person had no lawful right to induce other members of the public forces to resist government directives.”
She added that on August 9, Ngwenya posted on his Facebook timeline that ‘Zimbabwe police and army officers must wake up and smell the coffee.’
“This is a time to embrace change and not fight fellow citizens. Zanu-PF government is using you for nothing. What can you achieve with a paltry salary of ZWL 10000 and a Covid-19 allowance of US$75 which is not accessible in the banks. Wake up guys,” Kanengoni narrated.