By Nyasha Dube
A JUNIOR police officer accused of harbouring notorious armed robber Musa Taj Abdul and his gang, has been denied bail by the High Court for a second time.
Tapiwa Mangoma had launched a second bail appeal on changed circumstances after his first attempt at freedom was denied last year.
Mangoma based his appeal on the basis that he had sacked his legal representative and was now acting on his own behalf. The police officer had also blamed his former lawyer for failing to secure his release after accusing the legal practitioner of creating baseless fact against his instruction.
High Court judge Justice Benjamin Chikowero dismissed Mangoma’s latest application that would render the previous decision to deny him bail null and void.
“It occurs to me that there is neither allegation nor proof that there has been a change in circumstance the effect of which would be to render the grounds on which bail was initially denied no longer possible.
“That applicant is now a self-actor bent on correcting the “sins” of his erstwhile legal practitioner cannot be a changed circumstance.
“In any event, the facts allegedly created by the lawyer were not disclosed to me,” Chikowero ruled. Mangoma was arrested in August last year at his Beitbridge home where a crack police unit had been involved in a shootout with Abdul and his accomplices.
Abdul had been on the police’s most wanted list for the past 20 years before his arrest following the shootout. Mangoma, who is stationed in Beitbridge, was subsequently arrested together with the alleged robbers and charged with two counts of robbery and two counts of possession of a firearm.
After he was remanded in custody by the lower courts, the officer approached the High Court for bail but had his application denied by suspended judge Justice Erica Ndewere on October 16 last year.