MDC-ALLIANCE organising secretary Amos Chibaya appeared in court yesterday facing fresh charges of plotting to overthrow the Government.
Chibaya, who is the MP for Mkoba, was re-arrested on Tuesday afternoon soon after his release from Whawha Remand Prison after he was granted $500 bail on allegations of inciting violence. He appeared before Gweru provincial magistrate Ms Charity Maphosa facing charges of subverting a Constitutional Government.
Chibaya pleaded not guilty. However, Ms Maphosa remanded Chibaya in custody to 11 February. On Thursday the prosecution led by Ms Gracious Rongai had asked for further detention to yesterday. Ms Rongai applied for further detention to allow police to gather more documentation proving the alleged offence against him.
The MP’s lawyer Mr Reginald Chidawanyika had opposed the application for further detention saying it was unconstitutional to have his client arrested based on a news article which has not been verified.
It is the State case that during the period from 16 December to 2 January and at the Midlands provincial offices of MDC-Alliance in Gweru, the accused communicated with Learnmore Magorimbo, the national chairperson for Zimbabwe National Youth Alliance (Ziya), a pressure group mobilising for a nationwide demonstration. The court heard that the alleged communication was done between certain cellphone numbers revealed in court.
On 2 January, Chibaya, the court heard — also communicated with the entire MDC-Alliance supporters by causing the publishing of a news article in a local daily newspaper where he was subverting a Constitutional Government.
As a result of the communications, the court heard that massive violent demonstrations occurred in Mkoba, Mtapa and Ascot high-density suburbs in Gweru and the accused was observed amongst a riotous group.
The court heard that a number of properties were destroyed by demonstrators taking heed of his campaign to overthrow the Government by unconstitutional means.
Meanwhile, Chiwundura Member of Parliament Livingstone Chimina appeared before the same court facing fresh charges of inciting violence and protests. He was remanded in custody to Thursday.