Ngadziore Set Free as Judge Keeps Mamombe and Chimbiri in Jail

HIGH Court Judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi on Friday 26 March 2021 granted RTGS$5 000 bail to Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) leader Takudzwa Ngadziore, who had been in remand prison for 28 days on charges of partaking in or convening a gathering during the national lockdown period.

Ngadziore was arrested on 26 February 2021 by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) members and charged with convening and partaking in a prohibited gathering in contravention of 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 which was prohibited during the national lockdown period.

Prosecutors claimed that Ngadziore and other pro-democracy campaigners attended at Harare Magistrates Court, where they convened a media briefing denouncing the arrest of Makomborero Haruzivishe, castigated police brutality and called for the resignation of ZRP Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga.

Ngadziore, who is represented by Tinashe Chinopfukutwa and Jeremiah Bamu of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) had been denied bail on 4 March 2021 by Harare Magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti-Guwuriro, who ruled that the 22-year-old ZINASU leader was likely to re-offend since he allegedly committed the offence while on bail in some other matters.

But Justice Chitapi on Friday 26 March 2021 granted an appeal filed by Ngadziore against Magistrate Guwuriro’s ruling and ordered the ZINASU leader to pay RTGS$5 000 bail and to report once every fortnight on Fridays at Harare Central Police Station.

Meanwhile, Harare West constituency legislator Hon. Joanah Mamombe and opposition MDC-Alliance party youth leader Cecillia Chimbiri, will remain detained at Chikurubi Female Prison after Justice Chitapi denied them bail on Thursday 25 March 2021.

Justice Chitapi ruled that it is not in the interests of justice to grant the duo bail and said that he agreed with Magistrate Guwuriro that there are compelling reasons to deny bail to Hon. Mamombe and Chimbiri.

Hon. Mamombe and Chimbiri had appealed against Harare Magistrate Guwuriro’s decision to deny them bail.

Hon. Mamombe and Chimbiri, who are represented by Bamu and Charles Kwaramba of ZLHR, were arrested on 5 March 2021 and charged with convening and partaking in a prohibited gathering in contravention of 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.

Hon. Mamombe and Chimbiri allegedly read a statement entitled: “Statement in Solidarity with Makomborero Haruzivishe and Condemnation of Police Brutality in Zimbabwe” in which she stated that police officers “are among the top perpetrators of human rights abuses.”

Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights

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