Chief Court Reporter
River Valley chief executive Smelly Dube, who is facing charges of fraud and alternatively conspiracy to criminal abuse of duty by a public officer was granted $100 000 bail by the High Court.
Dube had appealed to the High Court against the decision of the remand court denying her bail on the grounds that she was a flight risk.
Last week, Justice Tawanda Chitapi allowed Dube’s appeal finding no compelling reasons to deny her bail in view of the circumstances.
The court granted Dube bail pending trial on condition that she deposits $100 000 with the clerk of court at Gweru Magistrates Court.
Dube was also ordered to reside at her house in Gweru until the matter is finalised.
She is also required not to visit her business premises for seven days unless the investigating officer has granted her clearance to do so.
Further, the court ordered Dube not to interfere with witnesses and investigations and has to report once a week at the nearest police station.
Justice Chitapi said it was not intended by law that a person on bail should lead the life of a convicted person by being denied his or her livelihood.
“This is why the imposition of restrictive conditions is provided,” he said.
The judge also noted that the magistrate made positive findings of fact which clearly showed the absence of likelihood that Dube was likely to evade trial if granted bail, but went on to refuse bail.
Regarding the State’s fears of interference with witnesses and evidence, Justice Chitapi found that the reasons given for such a finding were speculative.
“The magistrate did not also relate to the impact of imposing conditions to allay fears of interference,” he said, adding, “In my view, bail ought not to have been denied in this case.”