Zimbabwe refugees jailed

2015-01-28 05:00
(David Coltart via Facebook)

(David Coltart via Facebook)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Harare - A court in Zimbabwe on Tuesday sentenced four villagers who were displaced by floods last year to five years in jail each for taking part in demonstrations that rocked the camp they and thousands of others were sheltering in.

Collen Maboke, a member of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, said he was surprised by the judgment handed down in a magistrate's court in the south-eastern town of Chiredzi.

"We are not satisfied with the judgment," Maboke told Sapa.

"We are going to note an appeal as soon as possible."

Around 3 000 families lost their homes in floods in February 2014 in the Tokwe-Mukorsi basin near a new dam south of Masvingo city. A camp was set up at Chingwizi to provide temporary shelter to the displaced - but tempers ran high when officials tried to relocate the villagers.

Some alleged they were being blackmailed to work on farms linked to the ruling Zanu-PF party. Many said they had been promised independent plots and did not want to move until they had been compensated.

Two police vehicles were torched during a demonstration in August.

Initially 300 people were rounded up by police, but only 30 went on trial on charges of public violence in November. Twenty-six of them were acquitted at the close of the state's case, Maboke said.

"We proceeded to the defence case with four accused persons. They are the ones who've been convicted [and sentenced]," he said.

He said the four who had been convicted included a 42-year-old mother of two minor children and a 44-year-old father of seven children.

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  southern africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.