Masvingo magistrate Mbonisi Ndlovu has acquitted nine members of the Masvingo Residents Forum who were being tried for alleged public violence plot when they took some empty buckets to the local authority’s offices to protest council’s failure to avail tap water to residents who had endured the crisis for months.
The activists were arrested 23 April 2021 and charged with contravening section 37 of the Criminal Law Codification, participating in unlawful gathering with intent to promote public violence.
The five women and four men group comprises secretary general Prosper Tiringindi, R Mavhenge, A Mufamba ward 5 chairperson, Mataga Clara, Christine Mukuma, Viola Masuma, Kudzai Chamunorwa, Matter Zigwata and Leeroy Taylor.
When they were arrested, the members had peacefully gathered at Masvingo council offices with their empty buckets in protest of the water shortage which was being faced by the city at the time.
The crisis followed a power cut at Bushmead Water Works.
The residents were represented by Martin Mureri of the Zimbabwe lawyers for Human Rights.