By Tendai Kamhungira
HARARE – The State has said Madzibaba Ishamea Mufani, who was jailed for four years on public violence charges, would flee if he was to be released on bail pending the hearing of his appeal.
Mufani, through his lawyer Tawanda Takaindisa, is challenging the conviction and sentence.
However, the State has opposed the bail application, claiming Mufani would abscond if released and that he had no prospects of success on appeal.
“The applicant enjoys no prospects of success against both conviction and sentence and if granted bail he will certainly abscond as his appeal is doomed to fail,” the State said.
The State also said that the offence was committed in broad daylight, ruling out any chances of Mufani having been mistakenly identified.
“All the State witnesses testified that the applicant was part of the congregants who committed the offence. Not even a single witness supported the applicant’s claim that he was in Hurungwe on May 30, 2014,” the State said.
It further said that Mufani’s argument that he was being persecuted for political reasons failed to hold any water, adding that his conviction was proper.
In his appeal, Mufani claimed that the magistrate erred at law in finding him guilty.
He said the sentence induced a sense of shock in that it failed to take cognisance of his personal circumstances.
He argued that his alibi had not been controverted by the State during trial.
Mufani is seeking an order declaring his innocence or a $100 fine, if the High Court upholds his conviction.
Prosecutors proved that an entourage led by Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe leader Johannes Ndanga that included police officers and journalists was beaten up by Mufani and part of his congregation in May last year.
This was after Ndanga read out a letter banning the church on allegations of abusing women and children. Daily News