Judge ends 70-day prison ordeal for pro-democracy campaigners

High Court Judge Justice Emmy Tsanga on Wednesday 20 September 2017 ended the 70 days detention of two pro-democracy campaigners Darlington Madzonga and Edmore Musvubhi by setting them free on $200 bail each after they were arrested two months ago and charged with murder following the death of Talkmore Phiri, a law enforcement agent, who reportedly died in June following skirmishes between police officers and informal sector traders in Harare.

Madzonga and Musvubhi who were represented by Tonderai Bhatasara of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights had been in remand prison for 70 days after they were arrested by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers on Wednesday 12 July 2017 and charged with murder as defined in Section 47 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (Chapter 09:23).

Prosecutors claimed that Madzonga aged 41 and Musvubhi aged 32 mobilised themselves in June and connived to attack some police officers from the ZRP’s Police Reaction Group, who were on duty escorting some officers from Harare Central Police Station’s Operations Unit.

The duo, the ZRP officers claimed, hit the now deceased Phiri with stones and “booted” feet.

But Justice Tsanga on Wednesday 20 September 2017 granted Madzonga and Musvubhi $200 bail after Bhatasara filed a fresh application for bail based on changed circumstances. The Judge ordered the duo to report to police three times a week and not to interfere with witnesses or investigations and to surrender their travel documents until the matter is finalised.

Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights

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