NINETEEN Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) leaders, who were arrested for protesting against the high cost of living and the imposition of the 2% transaction tax by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government, have been acquitted.

BY SILAS NKALA

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), who represented the trade unionists, on Tuesday revealed that Mutare magistrate Sekai Chiundura acquitted them for lack of evidence.

The 19 ZCTU leaders, who were represented by Passmore Nyakureba of ZLHR, were arrested on October 11, 2018 and charged with participating in a gathering with intent to promote public violence, breach of peace or bigotry as defined in section 37(1)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

During trial, the State alleged that the ZCTU leaders contravened the law by taking part in an unsanctioned demonstration.

However, Chiundura found them not guilty and acquitted them at the close of the State case indicating that the State had failed to prove a prima facie case against them.

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