Unionist Masaraure fined $200 for obstruction of justice |

Trade unionist Masaraure fined $200 for obstruction of justice

By María Taruvinga

The leader of the Amalgamated Union of Rural Teachers, Obert Masaraure, has been fined US$200 following his conviction for obstruction of justice.

His conviction on Wednesday by Harare magistrate Feresi Chakanyuka followed a full trial during which he denied the allegations.

Masaraure was arrested for the offense on 8 July 2022 by ZRP officers and charged with frustrating or obstructing the course of justice as defined in Article 184(1)(c) of the Penal Code or incitement to commit public violence.

Prosecutors showed that Masaraure authored a statement he published on X and the ARTUZ website, damaging his pending trial and that of his colleague Robson Chere. The statement, the State argued, was intended to persuade teachers union members and the public to commit acts of public violence.

Masaraure is accused of posting a message on X demanding the release of Chere, who had been arrested in connection with the death of fellow ARTUZ member Roy Issa in 2016.

Issa allegedly plunged to his death from the seventh floor of a Harare hotel and an investigation into his death ruled out foul play. Police reopened the case and filed murder charges against Masaraure and Chere.

The human rights activist has several cases pending before the courts, including those of subversion and non-compliance with Covid-19 safety regulations.

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