MDC national organising secretary Amos Chibaya was yesterday acquitted of treason, a charge laid against him after the January fuel price hike protests.
Chibaya was being accused of trying to subvert a constitutionally elected government.
In the charge, the Mkoba legislator allegedly made statements in the media meant to subvert the government.
The allegations laid out in court by prosecutor Namatirai Chipere in February this year were that Chibaya caused the publication of an article in which he was quoted as saying: “2019 is the year we are going to send (President Emmerson) Mnangagwa packing … this time around we are not going to be toyi toying, but shall go directly to State House because that is where the person who stole the elections resides.”
The legislator spent two weeks at WhaWha Remand Prison following his arrest as provincial magistrate Phathekile Msipa denied him bail only to be granted the liberty by Masvingo High Court judge Joseph Mafusire.
However, yesterday the State led by prosecutor Constance Madzudzo, made an application before magistrate Edwin Marecha to withdraw the charge before Chibaya could plead.
“The State makes an application to withdraw the charge before plea. It
is also with the consent of the defence counsel,” she said.
Marecha granted the application much to the delight of MDC supporters who had packed court 2 at the Gweru Magistrates Court.
Lawyer Brian Dube of Gundu, Dube and Pamacheche Legal Practitioners, told Southern Eye after the court proceedings that the throwing out of the case was at his instigation after having made an application for refusal of further remand.
“There was no sufficient evidence for the case to have gone for trial. So at the last court date we had made an application for refusal of further remand. The State at that time had promised the court that they will put their house in order, but today they consented with us that there was no sufficient evidence for the matter to go for trial. So that is how the magistrate ended up agreeing to have the charge withdrawn before plea,” Dube, who is also the MDC Gweru Urban MP, said.
Chibaya was a couple of weeks ago also acquitted on another charge of public violence that emanated from the January fuel price hike protests.