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Man jailed over January 2019 protests acquitted after 22 months in prison

by Staff reporter
20 Oct 2020 at 06:15hrs | Views
The High Court has quashed a three-year jail sentence imposed on a pro-democracy activist who was arrested during fuel price riots in January 2019.

Tonderai Masanga, a resident of Southlea in Harare, was arrested together with 13 others and accused of committing public violence.

He was subsequently jailed for 36 months during fast-track trial by a Mbare magistrate.

Masanga appealed against his conviction and sentence.

Justices Benjamin Chikowere and Phildah Muzofa, who heard his appeal, on Monday ordered his freedom after he had already spent 22 months in prison.

"The judges set aside Masanga's conviction and found him not guilty and acquitted him," his lawyer Tinashe Chinopfukutwa said.

Over a thousand people were arrested after riots rocked the country between January 14 and 17 in 2019. The protests were sparked by a more than 150 percent increase in the price of fuel decreed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Human rights groups documented nearly two dozen killings by the military and police, while over 75 people were treated for gunshot wounds.

Source - zimlive

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