Godfrey Tsenengamu sent to remand prison
FORMER Zanu PF youth league national political commissar, Godfrey Tsenengamu, was yesterday sent to remand prison pending the determination of his bail application tomorrow, on charges of inciting public violence, the Daily News On Sunday reports.
Apart from arguing that Tsenenganu was a flight risk, the State also said the forthright politician was much safer in prison than outside — since he had said that he was being trailed by unknown people.
This comes after Tsenengamu came out of three months’ hiding on Friday and surrendered himself to police — who immediately charged him with inciting public violence, following his alleged role in mobilising for the foiled anti-government mass protests in July.
In opposing bail, prosecutor Lancelot Mutsokoti led evidence from police officer Clifford Mugabiri, who emphasised the need to safeguard Tsenengamu from the unidentified people who the defendant claimed had been stalking him.
“I fear for his safety because during our investigations he indicated that unknown people were following him day and night.
“He will be very safe in custody. There is also video and audio evidence of the accused person inciting the public to engage in violence.
“We have eight witnesses that we need to record statements from who were there when he incited violence and others who downloaded the videos and audio clips,” Mugabiri said.
Tsenengamu’s lawyer, Harrison Nkomo, argued that there were no valid reasons to justify denying his client bail.
He tasked Mugabiri to prove if Tsenengamu had any ties outside the country where he could relocate, adding that his client’s monthly income was $20 000 — making it difficult for him to sustain a living outside Zimbabwe.
“Witness, are you aware of the travel restrictions that have been imposed because of the Covid-19 pandemic?
“Can you tell the court the number of people you claim have illegally crossed the border last week?
“It is a disingenuous argument that all unsafe people must be locked in custody. Compelling reasons were identified by our law and that is not one of them,” Nkomo argued.
He urged the court to treat Tsenengamu in a similar manner to MDC Alliance deputy national chairperson Job Sikhala and Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume, who were recently granted bail by the High Court on similar charges.
He said Tsenengamu was prepared to deposit $7 000 bail, surrender his passport, continue residing at his Waterfalls home in Harare, report once a week at CID Law and Order until the matter was finalised.
When he went into hiding, Tsenengamu also claimed at the time that his life was under threat, following several visits by suspected State security agents at both of his houses in Harare and Bindura.
Since his expulsion from Zanu PF over allegations of corruption that he made against some ruling party bigwigs, Tsenengamu has become an arch critic of President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his government.