By Tendai Rupapa
A Harare magistrate yesterday granted bail to five people who are alleged to be part of a rowdy mob, which stoned and heavily damaged Harare Central Police Station when police clashed with commuters last week.
Gibson Kataruware (38), Denis Kondo (29), Prince Beni (23), Evans Agogo and Emmanuel Muzariri (22) are facing public violence charges.
The gang members successfully applied for bail on Monday before Ms Annia Ndiraya, who ruled that the State failed to provide compelling reasons to justify their incarceration.
She then released them on $50 bail each.
As part of their bail conditions, they were ordered not to interfere with witnesses and to continue residing at their given addresses until the matter is finalised.
Through their lawyer Mr Bothwell Ndlovu, the gang in their bail application, argued that police officers should be the ones in the dock, adding that their arrest was a cover-up of the ineptitude of the law enforcement agents.
Mr Ndlovu accused the prosecution of ignoring the police’s conduct, which led to loss of lives and injuries during the skirmishes.
It is the State’s case that on February 23, Constables Makumire, Mhundwa, Mpofu and Chisango were on duty at Harare Central Police Station manning the pedestrians’ gate when the gang and their accomplices, who are still at large, gathered at the station singing and trying to force their way in.
It was alleged that they also influenced passers-by to join in the melee.
Agogo, the State alleged, forced his way into the station, but was barred from entering the charge office.
He is said to have picked stones and threw them at police officers, thereby shattering windows at the charge office’s main entrance.
He was apprehended, but his accomplices continuously threw stones into the offices and damaged a parked Land Rover Defender, which belonged to the Police Reaction Group. The Herald