Zimbabwe Trade Union Congress (ZCTU) leadership and some activists who appeared in court on charges of organizing illegal demonstrations last week have called for a refusal to serve in pre-trial detention.
ZCTU President Peter Gift Mutasa, Secretary-General Japhet Moyo and five others made the request through their lawyer, Mr. Alec Muchadehama, on the grounds that the State has no case against them. Muchadehama argued in court that the charges against his clients were not in line with the charge.
"Their worship, the accused (ZCTU activists) have been kept under protest. For starters, the accused are facing allegations of incitement to violence.
"To give a brief background, what really happened was that on October 8, the ZCTU notified the officer commanding the ZRP of his intention to hold demonstrations.This was courtesy, as the unions are exempt from the Public Order and Security Act (POSA).
"The police had no right to ban demonstrations and even if the demonstrations did not cause public disorder in any way. If they had, then a member of the public would have stood up and said something.
"So the state has no case, since even the fact that they are saying that a Supreme Court order was challenged when the demonstrations were conducted is a lie, since there is no such order," he said.
The state, led by Charles Muchemwa, opposed the request saying it had no merit, as the allegations establish the fact that a crime was about to be committed.
"There is evidence linking them to the offense in the form of the posters that were retrieved and which had several inscriptions.
"The issues that the defense raised are reliable issues that should be raised in a full trial. Because of this, there is no justification for removing those charged with pre-trial detention," he said.
The presiding judge, Rumbidzai Mugwagwa, brought the matter back to today's decision.