Brother of missing Zimbabwe activist Patson Dzamara convicted

Human rights activist Patson Dzamara and his co-accused Makomborero Haruziviishe were yesterday convicted of obstructing the course of justice and sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment each.

However, they will not serve any time in jail after magistrate Josephine Sande suspended three months of the sentences on condition of good behaviour and the remaining nine months on condition that the two perform 315 hours of community service.

Dzamara will serve his sentence at the Harare Magistrates’ Court, while Haruziviishe will carry out his at Borrowdale Police Station starting on Monday.

In her judgment, Sande said the two did not respect the police when they seized their batons, which were not recovered, in a bid to demean them.

The obstruction of justice matter arose from the robbery case which was eventually removed from remand due to unavailability of State witnesses.

The State had alleged that Dzamara and Haruziviishe robbed two women who were passing through Africa Unity Square at which time the two were protesting against the disappearance of Dzamara’s brother, Itai.

Defence lawyer Obey Shava pleaded with the court to consider community service or a fine for his clients, saying Dzamara was taking care of the children who were left by his brother Itai, who disappeared without trace in March 2015.

Shava also urged the court to have leniency on Haruziviishe, who is in his final year at the University of Zimbabwe, saying the court’s role on first offenders was to rehabilitate them than make them break.

The defence lawyer had also expressed displeasure with the State, saying the charge of obstruction of justice was a clear fabrication as the robbery incident was never proved by the State.

Dzamara and Haruziviishe were charged together with Tatenda Mombeyarara, Pride Mkono and Oliver Chikumba, who were earlier acquitted.

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Source: NewsDay

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