Luthando Mapepa Post Correspondent
A 40-year-old Chipinge man was on Monday jailed five years for illegally barricading a road in the town two weeks ago during violent protests that rocked many urban centres in the country.
John Mutitsve who resides at 4841 St Kelvin pleaded guilty to the charges when he appeared before senior magistrate, Mr Vuso Gapara.
He was facing charges of obstructing or endangering free movement of person or traffic as defined in Section 38(c) of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act.
Asked why he committed the offence, Mutitsve said he was acting under the influence of alcohol.
“Your Worship, I pleaded guilty for the courts to give me a second chance. I don’t know what led me to act in that manner. I drank beer in the morning and I thought everyone was demonstrating,’’ he said
It was the State’s case led by Mr Gift Bikita that on January 15 at around 8pm at Discount Butchery situated along Joubert Street, the accused person blocked the road using logs and tyres.
“The complainant Tawanda Tafamombe approached and asked the accused person why he had blocked the road but he fled upon further questioning. The complainant gave chase and apprehended him. He then handed him over to the police,” said Mr Bikita.
In sentencing him, Mr Gapara said people who engaged in violent protests deserved custodial sentences in order to send the right signal to would-be offenders.
“Violence has no place in our society hence those who found themselves in these activities deserve harsh penalties to deter would-be offenders,’’ he said.
Mutitsve will spend four years in jail after one year was set aside on condition of good behaviour.