Paddington Japajapa testify before the commissioner on inquiry in Harare yesterday . Picture by Innocent Makawa
Said Hwende, “The Party together with Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights are working hard to ensure that a bail application pending an appeal by Cde Japajapa is filed with the High Court. His family visited my office and we are working flat out to ensure that this situation is legally resolved soon.”
Japajapa was jailed for an effective two years after he was found guilty of contravening Section 66A of the Electoral Act Chapter 2:13 (unofficial or false declaration of results).
Harare magistrate Mrs Learnmore Mapiye initially slapped Japajapa with three years imprisonment before suspending one year on condition of good behaviour.
In her ruling, Mrs Mapiye said Japajapa had a previous conviction not related to the present case.
She said Japajapa was accredited to monitor elections, but he ended up interfering with the announcement of results.
Japajapa, according to prosecutors, told journalists: “If people come to rallies, it means they appreciate the candidate. You cannot follow a candidate whom you cannot vote for. ZEC must do the right thing by announcing the proper results. Failure to do this, as leader of a civic organisation I am going to call for chaos in the country…”
Prosecutors linked Japajapa’s comments to post-election protests in Harare in which six people were killed and 35 others were shot by soldiers.