In a shocking turn of events, twenty-four members of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) were denied bail when they appeared in court on Monday, facing charges of holding an unsanctioned meeting in Budiriro on Saturday. The CCC members, including party organizing secretary Amos Chibaya and Budiriro legislator Costa Machingauta, were represented by Advocates Wilbert Mandinde and Chris Mhike.
The state led evidence from investigating officer George Garauzive, who expressed fears that the CCC members may interfere with witnesses if granted bail, and argued that the evidence against them was overwhelming. The court postponed the matter for continuation of the bail application.
In court yesterday, the CCC members’ lawyers lodged a complaint against the police, alleging that they had tortured the CCC members and abused accused female persons. The accusations stem from an alleged CCC political party members’ Presidential Assembly meeting held at Machingauta’s residence on Saturday. It is alleged that the accused persons were heard chanting CCC slogans at the meeting and when police members of ZRP Budiriro received a tip off and went to investigate, they ordered the group to disperse, but they resisted leading to their arrest.
The court also released one of the accused persons, a 17-year-old, under the guardianship of her uncle. The case continues to be closely watched as the nation awaits the outcome.