Today Hopewell Chin’ono appeared for his routine remand at the Harare Magistres court after the High Court dismissed his bail application yesterday
Beatrice Mtetwa submits to the court that she was now applying bail for Chin’ono on changed circumstances
The first circumstance is that the State opposed his bail citing that if released he would interfere with evidence on his gadgets forfeited by the investigating officers of the case.They had asked for a 14 day period to allow forensic experts to analyse the gadgets hence that period had lapsed and Chin’ono must be granted bail
The second circumstance is that July 31 had come and gone and Chin’ono must be granted bail
Mtetwa argues that Chin’ono was now suitable for bail as the State’s fears that if released before July 31, Chin’ono would have continued inciting the public to demonstrate.The much feared day went by while her client was detained and there were scenes of violence at all.
The third circumstance is that denying Chin’ono bail would expose him to the dreaded Covid-19 pandemic as the prisons authorities were not complying with the Covid-19 regulations to prevent risks to infection
Mtetwa asks the State to allow Chin’ono to lead evidence on the current state at remand prison concerning the risks of Covid-19
The State prosecutor concedes but demands that Mtetwa must first make an application which she would need time to go through and respond.
State proposes to have the response ready by Wednesday 12 August since Monday and Tuesday will be public holidays
Magistrate Ngoni Nduna refuses Chin’ono the chance to lead the evidence and postpones the matter to Wednesday 12 August
The hearing ends and parties leave the court room.
Mtetwa briefs the media outside Harare Magistrates court and is bitter on why the magistrate refused Chin’ono to lead the evidence on conditions he is exposed to at remand prison yet the State prosecutor had consented to it.
Mtetwa says the prisons officials denied Chin’ono to wear his Covid-19 protective goggles on the grounds that they could be fitted with surveillance cameras which is a security threat to the authority.