MDC youth leader released on $1,000 bail after incitement charge
The secretary general of the MDC youth assembly was freed on ZW$1,000 bail on Thursday after he was formally charged with incitement to commit public violence.
Gift Ostallos Siziba must report three times every week to a police station as part of his bail conditions, said Harare magistrate Elijah Makomo.
The charges, according to prosecutors, arose from Siziba’s weekend address at a rally in Glen Norah during which he is alleged to have said: “Mnangagwa we are coming for you.”
Prosecutors say the comment was meant to incite Zimbabweans to revolt against the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Siziba’s lawyers have described the charges as “utterly ridiculous.”
More than a dozen pro-democracy activists and opposition leaders have faced similar incitement charges, with critics saying this shows the government is muzzling the opposition by reverting to harsh security laws from the era of Robert Mugabe, who was removed in a 2017 army coup.
Mugabe ruled the country for 37 years before being ousted. But Mnangagwa’s promise to break with his predecessor’s past policies and tactics and usher economic prosperity is yet to be realised.
The country remains deeply polarised, with the MDC refusing to recognise Mnangagwa’s victory during last year’s presidential vote, that was expected to draw a line on the country’s history of contested election outcomes.
The MDC, which also snubbed an invitation to political dialogue with Mnangagwa in February, routinely says it will use all constitutional means to remove the president, without giving more details.