THE five war veterans executives, accused of undermining President Robert Mugabe’s authority through a damning communiqué in July this year calling for the veteran leader to step down, yesterday applied for relaxation of their bail conditions.
Source: War vets seek relaxation of bail conditions – NewsDay Zimbabwe September 6, 2016
BY MARY TARUVINGA
War veterans political commissar, Francis Nhando, secretary-general, Victor Matemadanda, Harare deputy chairperson, Hoyini Samuel Bhila, vice-chairman, Headman Moyo and spokesperson, Douglas Mahiya also raised a number of constitutional issues through their lawyers Beatrice Mtetwa, Harrison Nkomo and David Druly.
According to the State’s allegations, the communiqué, released on July 22, had defamatory statements, thereby, undermining Mugabe’s authority.
In her submissions, Mtetwa urged the court to have the war veterans’ reporting conditions dropped.
“Three of the accused persons live outside Harare in Chiredzi, Gokwe and Lupane and they have to travel to Harare, yet they receive very small pensions. They will have to stay overnight and pay for accommodation, which they can’t afford. They will still have to rush to their respective places of residence because they have to report every Monday and Friday. As such, we apply that their reporting conditions be dropped, as they are unnecessary,” she said.
Mtetwa said the five fought for the liberation of the country, which everyone was now enjoying, and, as such, they would not entertain any notions of fleeing.
Prosecutor Tapiwa Kasema, however, opposed the application, saying there were no changed circumstances.
Magistrate, Bianca Makwande is today expected to deliver her ruling on the application.
Mtetwa also claimed her clients were not fed during their pre-trial incarceration, adding they were subjected to unsanitary conditions.
“The accused, who had travelled from Chiredzi, Gokwe and Lupane, were not provided with any form of food or other forms of nutrition during the period in detention. The State is requested to state how and with what each accused person was fed.”
Mtetwa also told the court the lawyers were not granted opportunities to meet with their clients while in detention.
She said the five, except for Matemadanda, who was arrested while attending Mahiya’s bail hearing, were unlawfully detained despite having surrendered themselves to the police.
The State will on September 13 make its response to constitutional issues raised by Mtetwa.