The trial of National Vendors ‘Union chairman Stendrick Zvorwadza who is accused of threatening to burn down Rainbow Towers Hotel during a demonstration against Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko’s continued stay at the five-star hotel was yesterday postponed to August 16.
Harare magistrate Mr Elijah Makomo recused himself from the matter, saying he once dealt with another matter in which Zvorwadza was the accused. Zvorwadza (47), who is also an MDC-T activist, is facing charges of threatening to commit malicious damage to property.
Through his lawyer, Mr Marufu Mandevere, he recently made complaints against the police.
“Accused was not properly advised of charges he was facing upon his arrest.
“He was only advised in the afternoon after being arrested in the morning.
“It was very cold. However, he was allowed to have his shoes,” Mr Mandevere said.
The prosecutor, Mr Sebastian Mutizirwa, did not oppose bail and Zvorwadza was remanded on $200 bail.
As part of his bail conditions, he was ordered not to visit Rainbow Towers Hotel.
It is alleged that on June 26, Zvorwadza entered Rainbow Towers Hotel in the company of eight people, three of them carrying video cameras and believed to be journalists.
The court heard that Zvorwadza walked towards the foyer and shouted that he had come to have his breakfast. Hotel management informed the police of Zvorwadza’s behaviour.
It is alleged that he resisted arrest and closed the hotel’s main entrance doors from inside and ordered police officers to leave the premises.
He told them that they wanted to demonstrate peacefully because it was their constitutional right. It is alleged that Zvorwadza started shouting at the top of his voice that VP Mphoko had to immediately check out of the hotel because he was using taxpayers’ money.
He said they would do anything to tarnish the image of the hotel and burn it down, the court heard. herald