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MDC-A duo granted Z$20k bail – Chitapi says Mamombe has ‘much to lose’

By Nyashadzashe Ndoro  | Nehanda Courts |

High Court Judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi granted Z$20 000 bail to MDC Alliance youth leaders Joanah Mamombe and Cecilia Chimbiri who are being accused of breaching Covid-19 regulations after holding a press conference at the Magistrates’ Court.

Thandiwe Newton on Twitter and FILE picture of Joanah Mamombe admitted to hospital in Harare after allegedly being tortured by police. Photograph: Jekesai Njikizana/AFP via Getty Images
Thandiwe Newton on Twitter and FILE picture of Joanah Mamombe admitted to hospital in Harare after allegedly being tortured by police. Photograph: Jekesai Njikizana/AFP via Getty Images

The two had spent more than three months at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison after they were arrested at Rotten Row Magistrates Court expressing disappointment and solidarity with their colleague Makomborero Haruzivishe who was convicted and sentenced to 14 months effective.

They were first denied bail at the lower court last month and applied for freedom at the High Court where they were denied bail again by Justice Chitapi.

They went back and applied for bail at the Magistrates Court citing changed circumstances but Magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti-Guwuriro denied them freedom and urged the duo to wait for its trial which is scheduled for the 5th of May 2021.

Through their lawyer, Alec Muchadehama of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), the two applied for bail for the fourth time and Justice Chitapi granted them freedom on conditions they deposit Z$20 000, avoid addressing a gathering of more than 50 000 people, reside at given address and not to interfere with witnesses.

Chitapi however told Mamombe that she had more to lose citing she was breaking the laws that she contributed in making.

“She has much to lose in continuing to break the law in which she contributed to its making.

“They should be reminded that their conduct stretches the court’s patience. Bail should be granted on strict conditions,” he said.

Meanwhile, Haruzivishe was sentenced last week by Magistrate Judith Taruvinga on charges of inciting public violence in connection with a demonstration that happened last year when vendors attacked the police.

He has applied for bail pending appeal at the High Court but the ruling is yet to be delivered.

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