Banditry Accused Granted Bail

HIGH Court judge Yunus Omerjee on Thursday granted bail to four of the seven Movement for Democratic Change activists who are accused of banditry, insurgency and terrorism.

The judge granted bail to Zacharia Nkomo, Regis Mujeyi, Garutsa Mapfumo and Chinoto Zulu on condition that the four report twice daily to their respective nearest police stations.

They were ordered to pay $1 000 (revalued) to the clerk of court and to reside at given addresses until the finalisation of the case.

They were also barred from applying for any travel documents and told not to interfere with state witnesses and investigations.

However, the state has invoked Section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act to oppose the bail which was granted to the four MDC activists.

According to Section 121, the order to grant bail to the accused will be suspended and the accused will remain in custody until the case is finalised.

The High Court ruled the other three, Kisimusi Dhlamini, Andrison Manyere and Gandhi Mudzingwa, were not fit for bail.

The state represented by Florence Ziyambi argued the accused were facing serious charges. She said if convicted they could be sentenced to life in prison and were therefore likely to abscond if granted bail.

Ziyambi said Mudzingwa and others could not be granted bail because the state was relying on evidence from Mudzingwa who is the former personal assistant to the Prime Minister.

In his ruling on the bail application by Nkomo, Mujeyi, Mapfumo and Zulu, Justice Omerjee said the state’s case was not supported by any evidence.

“The state is relying on untraceable and unreliable witnesses and furthermore two of the witnesses are state employees.” said Omerjee.

Gandhi Mudzingwa and six others are accused of bombing police stations in Harare last year.

This is despite the fact that Police Commissioner-General Augustine  Chihuri at the time said it was an inside job.

Chihuri was quoted in the press as saying: “We are convinced that as an organisation we might not come out clean on the bombing issue.”

Meanwhile police who allegedly tortured Gandhi Mudzingwa and six others have denied the allegations.

According to the affidavits submitted to the court, the police said when they interviewed the accused no one complained of harassment save for Kisimusi Dhlamini who complained of general body illness.

Inspector Catherine Rukara said when she saw Dhlamini, he had no visible injuries neither did he complain of any assault.

Meanwhile former Chimanimani legislator Roy Bennett’s bail application will be heard Friday.

BY TINASHE FARAWO