Village Head Acquitted Of Inciting Villagers To Protest Against Chilonga Grass Project
A Chiredzi magistrate on Wednesday acquitted Livison Chikutu, a village head under Chief Chilonga who was arrested for inciting violence at the chief’s homestead in April this year.
Chikutu’s acquittal came after prosecutors failed to prove that he led a demonstration and incited violence at Chief Chilonga’s homestead against the Chilonga Lucerne project being funded by Dendairy, a Zimbabwean dairy company.
He appeared before Magistrate Mutukwa facing charges of disorderly conduct and violating Section 37 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act with the intention to incite public violence.
Chikuti was being represented by Rita Chakauya of Muzenda and Chitsama Legal Attorneys whilst Moreblessing Rusere prosecuted.
Chakauya told NewZimbabwe.com that her client was acquitted after the state failed to prove the charge. Said Chakauya:
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The state failed to prove its case because there was not enough evidence. Chikutu was acquitted after we filed the application for discharge.
Chikutu was on a ZW$5 000 bail since his arrest for allegedly masterminding a protest by the villagers.
The villagers even protested during a visit by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga in 2020.
Reports indicate that the Lucerne grass project will lead to the displacement of hundreds of families.
Shangaan locals have, however, vowed that they will not be moved by any form of government intimidation or interference.