Mthwakazi Leaders Have A Case To Answer – Magistrate
Bulawayo, – Bulawayo Regional Magistrate John Masimba on Friday dismissed refusal of remand application by the Mthwakazi Liberation Front (MLF) leaders saying they have a case to answer.
MLF senior executive members Paul Siwela, John Gazi and Charles Gumbo were arrested last week Friday and are facing treason charges after they were found distributing party pamphlets.
However a refusal remand hearing kicked off on Tuesday before Magistrate Masimba and on Friday he dismissed the application by the three leaders saying they had a case to answer.
“After I have gone through the evidence submitted by both the state and the defence, I have no doubt that the accused are senior members of MLF and were found in possession of pamphlets carrying messages which incite members of the public to rise against the government.
“The accused have a case to answer therefore I dismiss the application for refusal of remand by the defence,”said Masimba.
Speaking to Radio VOP after the ruling MLF leaders’ lawyer Advocate Lucas Nkomo said he would challenge the magistrate ‘s ruling in the High Court.
"We differ with the magistrate’s findings ,the issue here is not about the pamphlets but about the meeting which the state said my clients held on 1 March. Anywhere we are going to the High Court,” said Nkomo.
The three MLF leaders who were clad in prison garb were remanded in custody to 25 March and sent back to Khami Maximum Remand prison.
The militant and radical MLF was launched in January this year and is advocating for the independence of the Matabeleland region located in the southern part of Zimbabwe saying the Ndebele speaking people of have been marginalised by the government for too long and also face discrimination every day at work places and tertiary institutions.
The call for Matabeleland secession from Zimbabwe appeared to have been encouraged by events in South Sudan where people there voted overwhelmingly to break away from mainland Sudan in a referendum.