SEVENTEEN people who were arrested recently for allegedly staging violent protests in Beitbridge have been granted $50 bail each by a Bulawayo High Court.
The group is part of a mob of 74 people who were arrested on public violence charges while protesting against the implementation of statutory instrument No 64 of 2016 which removes listed products from the open general import licence.
The protestors were allegedly involved in looting and vandalism.
They are accused of setting on fire a Zimbabwe Revenue Authority warehouse and vehicles worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Among those who were granted bail by Justice Maxwell Takuva are two men from Bulawayo; Nqobizitha Mazibeli (26) and Njabulo Ndlovu (30) as well as Thomas Mweya of Masvingo.
Other members of the group are: Daniel Gumbochuma (26), Hendrick Phiri (26), Addington Matiya (28), Lovemore Mbedzi (27), Edzani Moyo (32), Tshiyoka Muleya (30), Justice Mangezi (32), Miriam Phiri (24), William Rupiya (24), Farai Nyamhuka (23), Nigel Kaseke (29), Raodoff Hurudza (28) and Nhlanhla Moyo (26) , and Norest Hove all of Beitbridge town.
Beitbridge resident magistrate, Ms Gloria Takundwa had earlier dismissed their bail application saying if released the gang was likely to disturb public peace considering the situation in the country.
She also ruled that the suspects were likely to interfere with state witnesses since investigations were yet to be completed.
Mr Reason Mutimba, Patrick Tererai and Lizwe Jamela of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights are representing the group.
Beitbridge senior prosecutor, Mr Jabulani Mberesi told the court that on July 1, the suspects some of whom are cross border traders, vendors and ordinary people gathered at Beitbridge border post main entrance to protest against the implementation of the statutory instrument 64 of 2016.
He said they were addressed by the police officer commanding Beitbridge Chief Superintendent Patrick Majuta who ordered them to disperse since their gathering was unlawful, but they turned violent.