CCC activist gets Covid-19 in drag out jail nightmare for Budiriro 25

HARARE – A Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) activist has reportedly tested positive for Covid-19 following over a week’s detention at Harare Remand Prison charged, together with 25 others, for taking part in what police allege was an unsanctioned gathering at the home of party legislator Costa Machingauta in Budiriro suburb.

Wilbert Advocate, lawyer for the opposition activists, told the media that his client is now in isolation under prison detention.

“One of the accused persons tested positive for Covid on Friday, Saturday morning and has been placed in isolation.

“We understand he will be in isolation for 10 days. So, he will be unable to attend court.

“The circumstances in which he got Covid-19 remain unclear at the moment but we have urged both prison officials as well as the court to ensure that we start being on the guard as Covid-19 appears to be slowly creeping back,” said Mandinde.

Meanwhile, the 25 CCC activists were Monday further remanded in custody to Tuesday for continuation of bail application and ruling.

Among the activists are party legislators Amos Chibaya and Costa Machingauta.

They are accused of breaching the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act (MOPA).

According to the police, Machingauta convened an unlawful meeting at his Budiriro home on January 16 in which 500 party supporters attended.

Police say the activists blocked the normal flow of traffic in streets linking to Machingauta’s home.

However, the activists claim they were unlawfully raided by the police while in a private meeting at Machingauta’s residence.

Among the arrested are two senior citizens and a minor aged 17, who was released from custody upon her first court appearance.

Bail hearing is dragging on after prosecutors said they intend to call one more witness.

Last week, the investigating officer, George Garauzive testified against the suspects.

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