By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |
MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere was freed on Z$10,000 bail by Harare magistrate Trynos Utahwashe on Monday who ruled that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) had failed to prove that she is likely to re-offend and that she faces serious charges.
Mahere is facing charges on allegations of communicating falsehoods. She is jointly charged with journalist Hopewell Chin’ono and opposition vice chairman Job Sikhala who have since been denied bail by the lower court. The two will be approaching the High Court in Harare to apply for bail.
On Monday, magistrate Utahwashe ruled that the State’s case against Mahere was weak and it lacked evidence. He admitted the opposition official to bail on condition that she deposits Z$10 000 with the Clerk of Court, resides at a given address and to report to Avondale Police Station.
The magistrate said “the tweets are not disputed by the accused. The state merely copied the tweets as they were posted by the accused. Repeating those tweets does not amount to overwhelming evidence.
“The state is overblowing the submission that she is likely to abscond because of the seriousness of the offence. She is a lawyer and handed herself over to the police well aware of the possible penalty.”
Mahere was not ordered to surrender her passport because it had been confiscated by the magistrate court in the case where she was facing charges of incitement last year.
She was remanded out of custody to the 23rd of February.
Commenting on the development MDC Alliance vice president Tendai Biti said he was pleased but shocked that the magistrate freed Mahere regardless of the fact that some of the co-accused persons, Sikhala and Chin’ono had been denied bail.
“We were pleasantly surprised that the magistrate was able to stand up to the truth to constitutionalism and rule of law and to break a chain of precedents where people facing political charges were being locked up only to be released,” he said. Nehanda Radio