Joana Mamombe fights for freedom

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MDC Alliance Harare West legislator Joana Mamombe, has filed an urgent chamber application challenging her detention at Harare remand prison pending mental examination by government doctors.
Mamombe was last Thursday placed in the custody of the superintendent at the prison by Harare regional magistrate Bianca Makwande after the State had argued that she must be assessed by two government doctors
to ascertain if she was not faking her mental illness.

This was after her lawyers had submitted that Mamombe could not follow trial proceedings on allegations of falsifying abduction because of anxiety disorders.

In the High Court application filed on Friday, Mamombe through the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, wants an order for her release and the urgent hearing of the application for review of Makwande’s ruling.

She cited Prosecutor-General Kumbirai Hodzi and Makwande as respondents. Mamombe argued that the State used the mental examination issue to have her sent back to prison and take away her bail rights.

“The second respondent’s decision was grossly irregular in that it amounts to a capricious and injudicious exercise of discretion which has the effect of revoking the applicant’s bail through the back door.

“The second respondent’s decision is irregular in that it rubbishes options provided by statutes alleging such options as lacking transparency without providing any justifiable basis for alleging so.

In any event, and in the alternative, her decision in this respect is tantamount to usurping the functions of the legislature. That decision was made capriciously and is tainted with malice,” reads part of the
application.

She argued that Makwande had grossly erred because her decision was based on speculation. The matter is yet to be set down for hearing.

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