FOUR Bulawayo Agenda officials that were arrested in Victoria Falls on accusations of conducting an unsanctioned public meeting by the police were yesterday acquitted due to lack of evidence.
Mmeli Dube, Butholezwe Kgosi Nyathi, Ntombiyezansi Tozana and Thulani Moyo were discharged when they appeared before Victoria Falls resident magistrate Sharon Rosemani.
It was the State’s case that on June 28 at around 1pm, the four conducted a public meeting at Ndlovu business centre in Victoria Falls without seeking clearance from the police in contravention of Section 24 subsection 6 of the Public Order and Security Act (Posa).
They were arrested at around 5pm on the same day after the police established that they had allegedly conducted a meeting without clearance.
Rosemani said the allegations lacked evidence and the meeting was not political.
“I find that there needed to be more evidence or submission in this case,” she said.
“That leads me to say whoever convened the meeting; the issues discussed, which were listed by the advocacy committee are sexual abuse, borehole and building developments, all are clearly not political.
Therefore, that being the case, the meeting fell under non-political gatherings which are granted exemption by the schedule and Posa as these issues are educational and charitable.
“So it is for that reason that I find that even if the accused are put to their defence, the purpose of the meeting would not change, so application for discharge is granted.”