Suspected armed robber Douglas Mutenda, who skipped bail and has been on the run, appeared in court on Saturday following his arrest in Mhondoro on Christmas eve.
Mutenda, who was released after law officer Mr Douglas Chesa consented to the granting of bail on December 8, failed to appear in court on December 17 and a warrant of arrest was issued against him.
Mutenda is facing several counts of armed robberies and was released on $5 000 bail on December 9 after the State consented on the basis that some of his co-accused were out on bail.
Mutenda is supposed to stand trial on armed robbery charges on February 17 next year with co-accused Prince Makodza, Carrington Marasha, Liberty Mupanhanga, Godfrey Mupamhanga, Spicer Takawira and Musafare Mupanhanga.
On January 21 next year, Mutenda is supposed to be tried at Harare magistrates’ court on other armed robbery charges with Eddison Mashamhanda, Spicer Takawira, Makodza, Musafare Mupanhanga, Nevanji Madanhire, Christopher Mashamhanda and Dudzai Chidangwara.
Mutenda is also expected to appear in court on December 30 for routine remand on similar charges with Musa Taj Abdul, Musafare and Godfrey Mupanhanga, Spicer Takawira, Marasha, Benjamin Chitunhu and Conwell Kasambarare.
Mutenda was initially denied bail when he applied at the High Court on October 20 this year.
The State led by Mr Chesa opposed the application, arguing that they had a very strong case against him.
Mr Chesa also told the court that Mutenda had led to recoveries of some of the stolen items, that there was a CCTV footage that showed him at the crime scene, that his accomplices implicated him and there were phone calls linking him to the offence, all of which left the prosecution with a very strong case against him.
High Court Judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi dismissed Mutenda’s bail application on grounds that he was likely to abscond and that he was facing serious charges.
Barely a month after his bail application was dismissed at the High Court, Mutenda engaged a different lawyer and approached the same court, and went before a different judge. New lawyer Mrs Concilia Maheya made a fresh bail application citing changed circumstances on December 8. In that application, Mutenda argued that his co-accused, Musafare Mupanhanga, Spicer Takawira, Benjamin Chitunhu and Conwell Kasambarare, had been granted bail. He also argued that he had no pending cases as the State had alleged. Mr Chesa responded to the fresh bail application on the same day consenting.