More than 105 people, including a Malawian national, appeared before Harare provincial magistrate Vakai Chikwekwe charged with public violence arising from Monday’s protests, where commuter omnibus crews demonstrated against police roadblocks.
Some of the suspects were severely injured, while others struggled to walk amid reports they had been mauled by police dogs. Four of the suspects were minors.
Human rights lawyers, led by Trust Maanda, however, failed to have the suspects released on the basis they were brought to court after 48 hours had lapsed.
Chikwekwe dismissed the application, saying their records were documented within the prescribed timeframe.
Maanda told the court the accused were denied access to medication and food, while in police custody.
According to the State, police received information that protesters from the Greater Harare Association for Commuter Omnibus, who were demonstrating in Epworth and Mabvuku, were disrupting the smooth flow of traffic.
It is alleged when police arrived, the protesters became violent and charged towards them. The State alleges police were forced to retreat with the rioters pursuing them.
It is alleged police managed to encircle the protesters after receiving back-up.
The matter was rolled over to today for continuation of the bail hearing.
Moleen Mtangadura appeared for the State.