Court release of ‘drug lord’ Simbarashe Dhama a travesty of justice
The release on bail of suspected Mbare drug lord, Simbarashe Chanachimwe, a.k.a Dhama has been described as a “travesty of justice”.
Dhama appeared in court on Thursday on charges of unlawful drug possession.
He was freed on ZWL50 000 bail by magistrate Rangarirai Gakanje and is expected back in court on March 20 for trial.
The magistrate ordered Dhama to report once every Friday at St Mary’s Police Station and to continue residing at his given address.
Observers have, however, accused the courts of bias, noting that political prisoners like MP Job Sikhala remain incarcerated for more than 250 days without bail.
Sikhala was arrested on June 14 last year on allegations inciting public violence to avenge the murder of opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) activist Moreblessing Ali.
Political analyst Pride Mkono described the release of Dhama as “a travesty of justice”.
“Bail is a fundamental right for all accused persons but it is curious and even shocking if the same court treats two accused persons differently,” he said.
“One was on the run for over a week and was given bail on first appearance at court while the other is a law officer who has been denied bail over 10 times. There is lack of balance on the part of the courts and certainly exposes an underlying corrupting influence in how decisions are reached. It is a travesty of justice.”
Award winning journalist Hopewell Chin’ono said: “Simbarashe ‘Dhama’ Chanachimwe is a drug dealer. He was on the run from police and was eventually arrested. He got US$50 bail and reports to police twice a month.
“Hopewell Chin’ono is a journalist who exposed corruption. He was jailed for 85 days and ordered to report twice a week.”
Dhama was found with 26 sachets of mbanje and a plant measuring 1.7 metres and are being held as exhibits.
The music promoter was found in possession of the drugs after his Matapi flat in Mbare was raided by police earlier this week.