MDC activists to spend another weekend behind bars
By Charles Laiton
The 15 MDC activists charged with public violence over the skirmishes that rocked Chitungwiza on February 29 this year will spend another weekend behind bars after their bail hearing application yesterday was postponed to Tuesday next week.
The postponement has been done to allow the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to file its response.
Their lawyers, Job Sikhala and Tapiwa Muchinerepi from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), appeared before High Court judge Justice Moses Foroma, who also indicated that he was unable to decipher the handwriting by a Chitungwiza magistrate who entertained the initial bail hearing.
The judge then instructed the State to ensure that properly typed court documents be made available to enable the court to deal with the matter next week.
On Monday this week, the NPA was ordered by a Chitungwiza magistrate to investigate the claims that 12 of the opposition activists were denied access to their lawyers after they were arrested and charged with public violence.
The activists, who include MDC youth spokesman Stephen Chuma, said they were also not notified of their charge until almost eight hours after their detention at St Mary’s Police Station.
Some of the arrested activists include Chuma (32), Nyasha Mutsindikwa (23), Elton Tendai Marimbe (21), Dambudzo Leeroy Mhike (29), Tendai Timuri (40), Jabulani Chatindiara (42), Chris Murecha (35), Terrence Manjengwa (25), John Mulevelengi (43), Brian Mushakwe (26), Tanyaradzwa Zawaire (26) and Taurai Nyamanhindi (36).
All the suspects are accused of participating in a public gathering with intent to promote public violence and the NPA opposed bail on grounds that the group was facing a serious charge and would likely face a custodial sentence if convicted.
The State is alleging that the MDC activists allegedly clashed with police, and were, therefore, not good candidates for bail. News Day