Suspected robbers denied bail

Source: Suspected robbers denied bail | Herald (Crime)

Chief Court Reporter

THREE suspected serial robbers accused of robbing a man of his vehicle at
gun point, have been refused bail by the High Court after it ruled the
trio was a flight risk.

Stephen Chikodza (25), Sasila Binda (39) and Daniel Hanzi (28) are facing
a charge of armed robbery.

They allegedly robbed the complainant, Mr Bangwani Mlilo of his Subaru
vehicle in Granary, Harare, in May this year.

The three approached the High Court for bail pending trial but Justice
Jester Charewa threw out their application.

She ruled that the trio could not be trusted with pre-trial liberty given
their attempts to flee from arrest.

“Further, given the lack of candidness of the applicants and the
overwhelming evidence against them, I find that on balance, therefore,
their personal interests are far outweighed by the interests of justice,”
said Justice Charewa.

“To safeguard public safety from the likelihood of similar offences,
applicants are, therefore, not good candidates for bail.”

The three were arrested after being implicated by their co-accused
Zephania Munyuki (34), who has since been granted bail.

Munyuki was arrested in Kuwadzana after a high speed chase with the
police and implicated the trio. He lured the trio through a phone call,
confirming plans for a second robbery in Mufakose while he was in the
presence of police detectives.

Munyuki then led the police to Current Shopping Centre in Budiriro where
the three were arrested.

In their application, the trio argued that the prosecution had no
compelling reasons justifying their continued incarceration as they were
of a fixed abode and have no travel documents.

It was further argued that they were not likely to commit further crimes
or interfere with witnesses as they were arrested while going about their
business.

They proposed tough bail conditions to secure them for trial.

But the investigator in the case opposed bail saying the evidence against
the trio was overwhelming. The court also heard that the suspects
attempted to flee and were only arrested with difficulty.

This, taken together with the gravity of the crime and the likelihood of a
long custodial sentence upon conviction, raised a reasonable apprehension
that the three were likely to abscond if released on bail.

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