Zvikomborero Parafini, Court Reporter
Controversial political activist Paddington Japajapa has been slapped with an effective two-year jail term after he was convicted of incitement to commit violence during last year’s elections.
Presiding magistrate Learnmore Mapiye had initially sentenced Japajapa to three years in jail before she suspended one year on condition that he doesn’t commit a similar offense in the next five years.
In her ruling Mapiye said Japajapa is not a first time offender as he was recently convicted by another magistrate after he invaded the Zambian Embassy after he didn’t qualify for a maize import license.
Mapiye noted that Japajapa’s role during the July 30 polls was to merely monitor the election but went on to discuss election results with journalists from various media houses before they were officially announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
The State led by Franscisca Mukumbiri proved that on July 31 at Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Command Centre, Japajapa unlawfully made communication to induce political violence at a presser.
Japajapa said: “If people come to rallies it means they appreciate the candidate, you cannot follow a candidate whom you cannot vote for. … ZEC must do the right thing by announcing the proper results. Failure to do this, as leader of a civic organisation I am going to call for chaos in the country…”
He was subsequently apprehended for the offence.