CCC's Losing Candidate For Chirumhanzu Constituency Granted Bail2 weeks ago
Patrick Cheza, the losing Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) candidate for the Chirumhanzu parliamentary constituency, has been granted bail by Masvingo High Court judge Garainesu Mawadze.
Cheza, along with four other party members, was arrested for allegedly assaulting his ZANU PF rival, Barbra Rwodzi, who eventually won the seat. After spending over two weeks in prison, all the suspects were released.
Cheza is charged with inciting public violence, while Elias Maduveko, Magmaster Chidyawuye, Delight Zinyemba and Courage Mugova are all facing public violence charges.
The assault allegations arose after a road traffic accident on August 24 involving Cheza and Rwodzi’s vehicles, leading to a confrontation. After a road accident, the rivals encountered each other at the scene, leading to a misunderstanding. According to the state, Cheza instigated his supporters to assault Rwodzi.
In court, it was stated that Chidyawuye intentionally tripped the government minister and attempted to stab her in the face with a knife. Prosecutors claim that while she was on the ground, other CCC supporters joined in, indiscriminately kicking her multiple times.
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CCC asserts that its supporters face state persecution due to their opposition affiliation. Following the August 23-24, 2023 elections, several party members, including Members of Parliament (MPs), were arrested on different charges. Some are on the run, while others have been released. Some analysts argue that ZANU PF, falling short of a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly by four MPs, aims to remove CCC members to secure the majority. The ruling party denies these claims, asserting that the police are simply performing their duties.