The Bulawayo High Court has ordered police to release a Ford Ranger vehicle belonging to MDC national chairperson Thabitha Khumalo, seized in Tshabalala where she was mobilising residents to partake in the opposition’s aborted demonstration.
Khumalo and six other activists including Senator Helen Mpofu were arrested two weeks ago for distributing fliers calling upon Bulawayo residents to take part in the party’s anti-government protest that had been planned for August 19, before it was barred by police.
After their arrest, the MDC official and party activists were taken to Tshabalala Police Station where Khumalo’s vehicle was impounded.
Khumalo and others then spent two days in police cells before appearing before Bulawayo Magistrate, Tinashe Tashaya, on charges of publishing false statements prejudicial to the state.
The group were granted bail but when Khumalo went to collect her vehicle from Tshabalala Police Station, the police refused, forcing the legislator to file an application at the High Court.
The application was done through Khumalo’s lawyer, Godfrey Nyoni, where she sought an order compelling the police to release her vehicle.
Following the application Justice Thompson Mabhikwa ruled in Khumalo’s favour and ordered the police to conditionally release her vehicle, ruling that it was held illegally.
After her success, Khumalo said the impounding of her car was illegal from the onset.
“When we were arrested, we strongly argued with the officer- in-Charge of Tshabalala police station, one Phiri, that what the police were doing was illegal. We don’t not know why they decided to hold onto my vehicle when in actual fact I had not committed any traffic offense,” said the vocal legislator.