By Desmond Chingarande
Two MDC Alliance officials Joana Mamombe and Cecilia Chimbiri who have been in remand prison for two months have been granted $20000 bail by the High Court.
High Court judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi ruled that the two’s conduct stretched the court’s patience and as such bail will be granted in strict conditions.
The duo have been barred from addressing gatherings of more than 50, to continue residing at their given addresses and not to interfere with investigations among other reasons.
Mamombe and Chimbiri are accused of breaching Covid-19 regulations after they allegedly held a press conference at Harare Magisrate’s Court.
They successfully applied for bail after four attempts.
Chitapi stated that if a criminal offence is related the conduct will constitute a threat to criminal justice and bail system.
Chitapi said Bianca Makwande was supposed to establish if the applicants had established new facts when they reapplied for bail on changed circumstances.
Alec Muchadehama had submitted that Covid-19 regulations have been relaxed and that she was allowed to address a gathering of not more than 50 people.
“However, my comment on the grounds of appeal is that they are generalised with no impact on their request. The appellants should have attacked the decision by the lower court to deny them bail,” Chitapi said.
Chitapi said only one ground out of 12 submitted was powerful.
The judge said the two should give the criminal justice system a chance to determine their innocence than to continue re-offending saying this is more like mockery of the justice system of the country in defiance of the existing laws.
“Mamombe has much to lose if she disregards the law which she helped to create but will give her another chance to reform,” he further ruled.
The judge also warned her to respect her oath as a parliamentarian.
Chitapi said Chimbiri is a support cast actress who only imitates or follows what Mamombe does.