Two Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) supporters have been cleared of charges that they tore down campaign posters of a Zanu PF candidate in eastern Zimbabwe.
Zephenia Nyangani and Learnmore Makuwaza, who live in Mutasa district’s Mboto village, were arrested on December 10 after being accused of destroying political posters. They were charged under Zimbabwe’s Electoral Act.
Prosecutors alleged that the two men tore down posters of Zanu PF local government candidate Regina Barara ahead of an upcoming by-election in Ward 6. Nyangani and Makuwaza were accused of tearing down Barara’s posters while putting up posters for their own CCC candidate.
However, Magistrate Artwell Sanyatwe acquitted the two CCC supporters at the end of the prosecution’s case. Their lawyer David Tandiri argued prosecutors failed to prove the men were guilty.
Tandiri said the state witnesses gave contradictory and inconsistent testimonies. Magistrate Sanyatwe agreed, noting one witness had exonerated Nyangani and Makuwaza.
Many CCC members and activists face charges that the opposition party says are meant to intimidate supporters ahead of August elections. CCC spokeswoman Fadzayi Mahere recently paid a fine for allegedly posting falsehoods against the police. And MP Job Sikhala has been in prison since June 2021, charged with inciting violence at an activist’s funeral.