Harare Magistrate Sheunesu Matova on Friday 12 November 2021 set free Takudzwa Ngadziore, the leader of Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU), who had been on trial for allegedly inciting some school children to protest against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.
Ngadziore was arrested on 24 March 2020 by Zimbabwe Republic Police officers and charged with criminal nuisance as defined in Section 46 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
During trial, prosecutors alleged that the 22-year-old Ngadziore did an act that is likely to create nuisance or obstruction by gathering some students from Allan Wilson High School on 7 March 2020 at Copacabana bus terminus in Harare, where he incited them without the consent of their parents or guardians to participate in a demonstration, where the school children sang some protest songs against President Mnangagwa’s government over its mismanagement of the economy.
But on Friday 12 November 2021, Magistrate Matova set Ngadziore free by removing him from remand after noting that the case had taken 20 months with the ZINASU leader being on remand and without trial being concluded.
Magistrate also noted that continuing to place Ngadziore on trial would be tantamount to interfering with his right to a trial within a reasonable time.
The removal from remand of Ngadziore came after his lawyer Webster Jiti of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights protested that the State’s house was in disarray as prosecutors had only led one witness in a period of one year and eight months and that Ngadziore had appeared in court answering to this charge of criminal nuisance for more than 22 times.
Magistrate Matova advised prosecutors to proceed by summoning Ngadziore to appear in court if they intend to prosecute him on the same charges.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights