Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume’s defence team has described his sentence as “outrageous” and vowed to appeal.
Ngarivhume was on Friday sentenced to four years in jail following his conviction the previous day of public violence incitement charges.
He was convicted by Harare magistrate Feresi Chakanyuka after a full trial that lasted almost three years.
Ngarivhume’s defence team led by Lovemore Madhuku said they are going to appeal both the sentence and conviction at the High Court. He said:
We have been given instructions to file an appeal… so we are filing an appeal on Tuesday and we are also applying for bail pending appeal.
So we expect our client to be out and be a free person in a week or so. We believe that the High Court will certainly not uphold the conviction.
That’s our belief, we are very confident about that and there is everything wrong with the conviction.
Even if the High Court upholds the conviction, we also believe the sentence of 36 months effective is outrageous by any calculation…
You cannot send a political leader to prison for three years for merely tweeting what you consider to be incitement.
Of course, a message must be sent out but this particular sentence is completely outrageous.
The charges against Ngarivhume emanated from a July 2020 tweet in which he called for a national shutdown in protest over poor leadership by the ZANU PF-led government.