Tsenengamu denied bail, shock as magistrate says he is safer in custody
By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
Harare regional magistrate Ngoni Nduna has denied bail for former Zanu PF Mashonaland Central youth chairperson Godfrey Tsenengamu who is facing charges of allegedly inciting public violence in connection with the 31st July protests against corruption.
Tsenengamu, last week Friday surrendered himself to the police and he spent the whole weekend at remand prison.
The magistrate accused Tsenengamu of running away from the police since the first week of July and argued that he was a flight risk.
Nduna said that Tsenengamu claimed to be unsafe and surrendered himself to the police adding that it was a reason enough to deny him bail saying he was safer in jail.
His lawyer Harrison Nkomo confirmed this to the media and said he was remanded in custody to the 27th of October.
“The magistrate honourable Nduna has effectively rendered his decision this afternoon which has a net effect of denying Godfrey Tsenengamu bail. The reasons for denying him bail are basically two.
“First one is that if he is given bail, there were people who were following him prior to his submission to the police station and to that end, his life is in danger from these unknown people.
“The second one is that the police started looking for him as early as the first week of July 2020. The conclusion of the court is that he was running away from the police. On those grounds, he was remanded in custody to the 27th of October,” Nkomo said.
Former cabinet minister Walter Mzembi said, “this exemplifies why after staying one year on remand it became safer to be outside with all the abduction threats and stalking . How can anyone feel safer inside prison than outside! Upside Down!” he said.
The 31st July demonstrations were organised by opposition Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume. He has since been arrested and charged with inciting violence, spent 45 days at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison before being released through bail by the High Court.
But he was also arrested together with investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono who recently exposed alleged government corruption involving President Mnangagwa’s son Collins and his wife Auxilia in massive allegations of corruption, the US $60 million Covidgate scandal.
The fallout saw the arrest and dismissal of former Health Minister Obadiah Moyo.
Chin’ono was charged with the same allegations of inciting violence.
Zengeza West legislator, Sikhala followed after a few weeks of Chin’ono and Ngarivhume’s arrest. He was taken by the police, charged with inciting violence, detained at Chikurubi before being granted bail by the High Court in Harare after spending 5 weeks in jail.
Mnangagwa came into power in November 2017 through a military coup that ousted late former president Robert Mugabe. He promised to re-engage the country with the international community through ending human rights abuses and corruption.
But three years down the line, his regime has been associated with massive human rights violations characterised with arrest, torture, abductions and general silencing of the dissent.