EIGHTY-SIX protesters who were arrested in Bulawayo for allegedly engaging in acts of violence in July were yesterday freed due to lack of evidence.
The State led by Mr Jeremiah Mutsindikwa withdrew its case before plea citing lack evidence linking the 86 suspects to the alleged offence.
Mr Mutsindikwa conceded that there was no sufficient evidence to consider the commencement of trial before Bulawayo magistrate Ms Charity Maphosa.
Tobias Mhodi and 85 others were part of a group arrested and detained by police for allegedly looting a supermarket during the riots in Mzilikazi suburb. They were represented by Mr Jonathan Tsvangirai and lawyers from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).
More than 80 rowdy youths were arrested when the cops embarked on a door-to-door search in Mzilikazi, Burombo Flats and Makokoba suburbs in Bulawayo. They were accused of engaging in violence and looting during the protests.
A group of youths, armed with stones, clashed with anti-riot police as they tried to march to the city centre.
During the riots, Rumrich Supermarket in Mzilikazi suburb was looted with rioters stealing bags of mealie-meal, sugar, cooking oil and liquor.
Riot police officers had to be deployed to various spots in the affected suburbs to restore order.