Gwisai Trial: Verdict Out

The Herald reports that magistrate Mr Kudakwashe Jarabini, ordered former Highfield legislator and University of Zimbabwe law lecturer Munyaradzi Gwisai and five accomplices to perform 420 hours of community service and US$500 each for conspiring to commit public violence.

In addition, they were sentenced to 24 months in prison with 12 months suspended for five years on condition they do not commit a similar offence within that period. The fines of US$500 apiece are to be paid on or before March 26 after the defence successfully applied for time to pay.

The six were on trial after being arrested during a meeting at which they were watching video footage of a mass uprising in Egypt and Tunisia last year in the city of Harare.

Gwisai and Choto will perform the community service at Haig Park Primary School, Mombeyarara at Zengeza 4 High School, Chakuma at Warren Park One Primary School, Gumbo at Queensdale Primary School and Zimuto at Chinhoyi Hospital.

The prosecution had urged the court to impose the maximum sentence of 10 years. However the magistrate found a fine and community service appropriate, saying the penalty should not be outrageous but should send a message to would-be offenders.