BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
LAWYERS representing political activist Josphat Mzaca Ngulube have challenged the incarceration of the aspiring Bulawayo legislator who was last week jailed six years for public violence.
Ngulube was convicted on charges of burning three cars and property at a house belonging to Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial women’s league chairperson Eva Bitu during the violent January protests.
He was convicted alongside Fortune Masuku, Melusi Moyo and Otilia Sibanda by Bulawayo magistrate Tinashe Tashaya.
Ngulube contested last year’s parliamentary elections as an independent candidate in Bulawayo South constituency before joining the MDC early this year.
His lawyer Nqobani Sithole said Ngulube was in “high spirits” despite his six-year conviction.
“He is in high spirits. We knew that regardless of his defence the probability of his conviction was high…he was prepared and not taken by surprise by the unfair conviction…otherwise, we are filing an appeal at the High Court against his unfair conviction,” Sithole told Southern Eye before visiting his client at Khami Maximum Prison.
The State’s case, as presented by Jetro Mada, is that on January 14 at about 7am, Ngulube, acting in connivance with 100 others, unlawfully blocked the free movement of traffic at the intersection of Sizinda Road and Nketa Drive.
Mada said the crew accused Bitu of solely benefiting from taxpayers’ money and pushed her Ford Ranger out of the yard and set it alight.
“Accused persons went back into the yard where they had left a Nissan NP300 and a Toyota Vitz. They set alight the Nissan whose flames destroyed part of the Vitz. The Ford Ranger and Nissan NP300 were burnt beyond repair,” Mada said.
Mada said the cars had a total value of US$95 000.