A 16-year-old Harare juvenile was on Monday convicted and sentenced to five strokes while seven of his co-accused were also found guilty for taking part in last month’s violent anti-government protests.

Two of the ten protesters were acquitted after full trial at the Harare magistrates’ courts.

Magistrate Hosea Mujaya found Wyclode Mashange (16) guilty of the offence but spared him a harsher sentence because of his age.

The 10 who appeared in court are Simbarashe Nyamadzawo (22), Talent Mugadza (21), Gilbert Jasimoni (34), Abisha Musakanda (24), George Tomu (26), Danny Sere (27), Takudzwa Mutupa (19), Brian Zuze (23), Brian Nyamayaro (19) and Mashange.

Zunze and Nyamayaro were found not guilty while the other eight were convicted and were to know their sentences later in the day.

It is alleged that on January 14, 2019, at around 0800 hours, the group, acting in common purpose with their accomplices who are still at large, gathered at Kamunhu Shopping Centre, Mabvuku Harare armed with catapults, sticks, logs and boulders.

They are alleged to have used the boulders to barricade the roads at the shopping centre thereby blocking free movement of traffic to and from Kamunhu Shopping centre.

They then proceeded to a Choppies Supermarket where they damaged windows using missiles and looted some groceries, something that forced other shops to close.

Court heard at around 1000 hours, a police Support Unit team reacted to the incident and managed to arrest them.

According to the state, the group’s actions caused closure to businesses at Kamunhu Shopping Centre while a lot of buildings were destroyed with groceries looted from them.newzimbabwe