D-day for protesters

Harare magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti is today expected to make a bail ruling on Petros Sokole and 57 other protesters who have been in custody for nearly a month on public violence charges. BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

Source: D-day for protesters – NewsDay Zimbabwe September 19, 2016

The protesters, through their lawyers from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, filed fresh bail application citing changing circumstances.

To date, only 11 of the 68 arrested protesters have been granted bail.

Their lawyer Trust Maanda told the court that the matter was before magistrate Tendai Mahwe who denied them bail. The case is now under magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti hence the call for changing circumstances.

Maanda stated that the court is discriminating the suspects by granting some bail, while others are being denied the same rights.

He cited the case of a 58-year-old man who was given bail on advanced age circumstances, but another suspect, a 68-year-old woman was denied the same right.

Maanda further told the court that one of the two security guards arrested on the day while on duty was granted bail. But his colleague was being denied bail despite the fact that the two’s employer wrote one letter to facilitate their release.

State prosecutor Michael Reza argued bail is applied on an individual capacity.

Maanda told the court that the investigating officer never visited the protesters in remand prison despite his testimony in court that he wanted them in custody for the convenience of investigations.