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Ngarivhume distances self from twitter account

TRANSFORM Zimbabwe president Jacob Ngarivhume, who is accused of masterminding the July 31 protest, has distanced himself from a Twitter account which is in his name that allegedly called on Zimbabweans to put an end to President Emmerson Mnangagwa's rule.

This was said by Ngarivhume's lawyer Moses Nkomo during his bail appeal hearing before Justice Tawanda Chitapi in the High Court yesterday.

The appeal ruling will be delivered on Thursday.

Nkomo argued that Harare regional magistrate Trynois Utahwashe denied his client bail basing on speculations by the State and investigating officers, which were not proved in court.

He said they were unaware of the owner of the Twitter account relied on, adding that they would be challenging placement on remand in the magistrates' court.

"The court a quo found it prudent to rely on disputed evidence which was not cogent and does not constitute compelling reasons. The witness, investigating officer Naison Chirape, was speculative and did not have evidence," Nkomo said.

"The appellant denies authoring the messages State relied on because he is not the owner of the Twitter account referred to. We shall raise the issues when we challenge his placement on remand."

Nkomo further argued that Utahwashe did not consider that imposition of appropriate bail conditions would cure the State's fears that Ngarivhume would flee from trial.

However, prosecutor Michael Reza insisted that Ngarivhume had unfinished business and could still incite violence since his motive to end Mnangagwa's rule had not been accomplished.

It was alleged that during the period between March 1 and July 20, Ngarivhume made a series of tweets intending to persuade people to engage in public violence.

Among the tweets was: "Today I spent the day meeting and consulting different stakeholders, mobilising for the July 31 movement. I met with top bishops, Ian Makone, Shingi Munyeza, Elton Mangoma and Godfrey Tsenaz. The buy-in growing, corruption is in trouble and hope is on the way."

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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