By Mashudu Netsianda
The High Court has dismissed a third application for bail pending trial by a Bulawayo teenager who allegedly killed his mother and kept the body in the house for two days after she failed to repay 50 cents he had given her.
Tinashe Tadziwani of Cowdray Park suburb attacked his mother Regina Tadziwani (59) and when he discovered that she had died, he locked the house and went away.
Tinashe, who lived at home with his mother, went to his uncle’s home on the following day after committing the murder and informed him that he had injured his mother but did not say she had died.
The uncle sent the woman’s daughter-in-law to check on her, only for her to discover that she was dead.
The ruling by Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Maxwell Takuva follows an application by Tinashe through his lawyers, Liberty Mcijo and Associates, citing the State as the respondent.
His latest application was made on the basis that there has been a change in the circumstances since the dismissal of his previous two applications by Justice Thompson Mabhikwa last year.
Tinashe filed his first application under HCB170/18 on September 28, 2018 before he filed another one barely a month later under HCB211/18.
In his bail statement, Tinashe contended there were changed circumstances justifying the consideration of the bail application.
He said the investigations into the matter were now complete with all witnesses having recorded their statements hence there was no likelihood of interfering with them.
The State, through Ms Chiedza Muhwandavaka, opposed the application, arguing that there was no change in the circumstances. She also argued that the State had a strong prima facie case against Tinashe.
In dismissing the application, Justice Takuva said given the gravity of the offence, there was no guarantee that if granted bail, Tinashe would not abscond.
“In my view, there are no new facts in casu in that the applicant is simply reshuffling the old evidence. In any event even if they are considered new and relevant they are not of such a nature that in the totality of all circumstances, including the course of the risk of abscondment, that bail ought not to be granted. The State’s prima facie case remains solid and is likely to be further strengthened by the DNA results and the applicant’s defence is a bare denial,” said the judge.
“Faced with the overwhelming evidence coupled with the seriousness of the offence and the attendant lengthy sentence, the likelihood to abscond is a genuine and reasonable fear. In the circumstances, the application for bail pending trial is dismissed,” ruled Justice Takuva.
In his grounds of appeal, Tinashe argued that there were no compelling reasons justifying his continued detention. “There is no fear that if released on bail, the applicant will commit further crimes or similar offences. The applicant is of fixed abode and has no incentive to abscond or run away from this offence as evidence against him is purely circumstantial,” said Tinashe’s lawyers.
He said the State’s case hinges on a misunderstanding which he had with his mother prior to her death.
Tinashe said there was no likelihood that he would interfere with State witnesses if granted bail. The Chronicle