TWO pro-democracy campaigners Takudzwa Ngadziore and Makomborero Haruzivishe will remain incarcerated in prison after Harare Magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti-Guwuriro vetoed the bail application for the Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) leader and revoked the bail which had been granted to Haruzivishe.
In a ruling handed down on Thursday 4 March 2021, Magistrate Muchuchuti-Guwuriro ruled that the 22 year-old Ngadziore was not a proper candidate to be set free on bail as he had three pending cases in court hence he would abscond from standing trial in court.
Magistrate Muchuchuti-Guwuriro granted RTGS$5 000 bail to ZINASU Secretary-General Tapiwanashe Chiriga aged 24 years, who was jointly charged with Ngadziore and whom he ordered to continue residing at his given residential address and not to interfere with witnesses.
Ngadziore and Chiriga, who were represented by Tinashe Chinopfukutwa and Jeremiah Bamu of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) were arrested on Friday 26 February 2021 by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) members who charged them with contravening section 5(3)(a) of the Public Health (COVID-19 Prevention, Consolidation and Amendment Order of Statutory Instrument 200/2020 as read with Statutory Instrument 42/2021 for allegedly partaking or convening a gathering.
Prosecutors claimed that Ngadziore and Chiriga together with other “accomplices” who include Harare West constituency legislator Hon. Joanna Mamombe and opposition MDC-Alliance party youth leader Cecelia Chimbiri attended at Harare Magistrates Court, where they convened a media briefing denouncing the arrest of Haruzivishe, castigated police brutality and called for the resignation of ZRP Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga.
Chiriga had also been arrested on the same day and jointly charged with 23 year-old Nancy Njenje, the ZINASU Secretary for Gender for allegedly contravening section 4(1)(a) of the Public Health (COVID-19 Prevention, Containment and Treatment) (National Lockdown) Order Statutory Instrument 200/2020 as read with Statutory Instrument 42/2021 for allegedly failing to confine themselves at home when they made unnecessary movement during the national lockdown period by moving to Harare’s central business district.
Magistrate Muchuchuti-Guwuriro also revoked bail which was granted in 2020 for Haruzivishe after ruling that he had defaulted appearing in court on 29 September 2020 during the national lockdown period.
Haruzivishe, who was represented by Obey Shava of ZLHR had denied defaulting attending court arguing that when he appeared at court his record of court proceedings could not be located.
But Magistrate Muchuchuti-Guwuriro ruled that Haruzivishe had failed to give a plausible reason for defaulting appearing in court hence his bail should be revoked and he should remain in custody until his matter is finalised as his conduct affects the administration of justice.
Haruzivishe, who returns to court on 16 March 2021, is detained in remand prison after he was arrested in February 2021 and charged with kidnapping for allegedly locking up some Impala Car Rental employees in their offices accusing the car rental company of aiding the abduction and disappearance of human rights campaigners by leasing out its vehicles to some state security agents.
On Saturday 27 February 2021, 19 year-old Edmond Chimwenye was set free after he was arrested on Thursday 25 February 2021 and charged for contravening section 4(1)(a) of the Public Health (COVID-19 Prevention, Containment and Treatment) (National Lockdown) Order Statutory Instrument 200/2020 as read with Statutory Instrument 42/2021 for allegedly failing to confine himself at home.
Chimwenye, who was represented by Chinopfukutwa and Bamu, was accused of making unnecessary movement during the national lockdown period when he was found by ZRP members while at Harare Magistrates Court wearing a T-shirt written “Freedom”, “Peace”, “Justice” and “Marxist for life”.
He was released on free bail on Saturday 27 February 2021.
In Chitungwiza, 10 adult residents who were arrested on Friday 26 February 2021 and charged with defeating or obstructing the course of justice, were granted RTGS$2 000 bail each on Monday 1 March 2021 while the juveniles were granted free bail on the same charges and released on the same day when they were apprehended.
Prosecutors accused them of defeating or obstructing the course of justice as defined in section 184 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act when they allegedly attacked some police members in Unit H high-density suburb, who wanted to arrest a bar and restaurant owner.
In their defence, the juveniles said they were just picked up by police members who knocked on their doors in search of all male persons while others said they were arrested while fetching water at a community borehole.
The Chitungwiza residents and juveniles, who were all represented by Freddy Masarirevhu of ZLHR, return to court on 29 April 2021.
Four ZINASU members namely Pritchard Paradzayi aged 21 years, Falon Dunga aged 22 years, Glen Magaya aged 21 years and Allan Chipoyi aged 21 years will spend their second night in detention at Harare Central Police Station, where they were detained after they were arrested on Wednesday 3 March 2021 and charged with disorderly conduct in a public place as defined in section 41 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
Paradzayi, Dunga, Magaya and Chipoyi, who are represented by Nontokozo Dube-Tachiona, Tinomuda Shoko and Chinopfukutwa, are expected to appear in court on Friday 5 March 2021.
Meanwhile, freelance journalist Ngonidzashe Ndoro, was freed on Wednesday 3 March 2021 after he had been arrested at Harare Magistrates Court where he was covering a demonstration staged by some ZINASU outside the court house. Ndoro, who was represented by Dube-Tachiona of ZLHR, was detained at Harare Central Police Station and accused of participating in the students’ protest, was set free without any charge or charges preferred against him.
Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights