Zim court rejects onerous bail conditions for abductees

Source: Zim court rejects onerous bail conditions for abductees – The Zimbabwean

HARARE Magistrate Barbra Mateko on Thursday 28 May 2020 rejected a bid
by prosecutors to impose onerous bail conditions on three opposition
MDC-Alliance party youth leaders, who were charged for allegedly
participated in an anti-government protest, in a matter in which
authorities conducted a bedside court session at a hospital in Harare.

Prosecutors led by Tinashe Makiya from the National Prosecuting
Authority had on Wednesday 27 May 2020 asked Magistrate Mateko to
order Harare North legislator Hon. Joana Mamombe, Cecelia Chimbiri and
Netsai Marova to deposit RTGS$2 000 as bail money and to report three
times in a week at  a Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) station until
their matter is finalised.

The State’s proposal was strongly opposed by Hon. Mamombe, Chimbiri
and Marova’s lawyers Roselyn Hanzi and Jeremiah Bamu of Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights, who accused prosecutors of seeking to impose
onerous bail conditions on their clients and of discriminating the
trio against other male MDC-Alliance party youth leaders, who were
arrested recently and admitted to bail on flexible terms.

On Thursday, Magistrate Mateko agreed with Hanzi and Bamu and ordered
Hon. Mamombe, Chimbiri and Marova to pay $1 000 as bail money and to
report once a week at Harare Central Police Station and to continue
residing at their given residential addresses and not to interfere
with state witnesses until their matter is finalised.

During the hearing of their bail application, Bamu and Hanzi, who
objected to the placement of their clients on remand and raised
several complaints against ZRP members regarding the ill-treatment and
violation of several of their clients’ fundamental rights, also gave
notice that Hon. Mamombe, Chimbiri and Marova will petition the
Constitutional Court seeking redress.

The trio return to court on 13 August 2020.
Hon. Mamombe, Chimbiri and Marova were on Tuesday 26 May 2020 charged
with participating in a gathering with intent to promote public
violence, breaches of the peace or bigotry as defined in section 37 of
the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act and for contravening
section 5(3) (a) as read with section 5(1) of Statutory Instrument 99
of 2020 of Public Health (COVID-19 Prevention, Containment and
Treatment) (National Lockdown) Order, 2020.

The MDC-Alliance party youth leaders were accused of participating in
an illegal demonstration held on 13 May 2020 in Warren Park 1 suburb
in which opposition party supporters allegedly staged a flash protest
against abuse of financial resources and the extension of a government
enforced national lockdown by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

During the demonstration, prosecutors argued, the alleged protestors
reportedly carried a placard inscribed “Unlock Us Before We Revolt”.

The prosecution of Hon. Mamombe, Chimbiri and Marova comes at a time
when the trio is currently receiving treatment at a local medical
facility following their abduction, disappearance and torture on 13
May 2020 and to date, no arrests have been made by ZRP members of
people who abducted, disappeared and tortured the opposition youth
leaders.

Meanwhile, a Harare Magistrate on Wednesday 27 May 2020 granted RTGS$1
000 bail to Lovejoy Chitengu, the Youth Organising Secretary for the
MDC-Alliance party’s Harare Province after he was arrested and charged
with participating in a gathering with intent to promote public
violence, breaches of the peace or bigotry as defined in section 37 of
the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act and for contravening
section 5(3)(a) as read with section 5(1) of Statutory Instrument 99
of 2020 of Public Health (COVID-19 Prevention, Containment and
Treatment) (National Lockdown) Order, 2020.

Chitengu, who is represented by Gift Mtisi of ZLHR, will return to
court on 13 August 2020.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 1
  • comment-avatar
    Ndonga 1 month ago

    No one, but no one, is fooled by this silly game of taking these three ladies to court. We all know a 100% what really happened to them. And the full truth will come out for sure. For a start who ever heard of complete strangers coming into a police station and taking valuable prisoners out of the hands of policemen!

    And to think that we all fooled ourselves into thinking that ED would be better than Mugabe. He is even much worse. Nothing will come right in Zimbabwe until all of ZANU PF’s current crooked leaders and their parasites are all gone.

    God speed that day.