MDC activists granted bail

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HARARE magistrate Yeukai Chigodora yesterday released on $1 000 bail two MDC activists who were apprehended during a demonstration last week.

Makomborero Haruzivishe, 28, and Allan Moyo, 22, were ordered to continue residing at their current addresses, not interfere with witnesses and report twice a week at Harare Central Police Station as part of their bail conditions.

The case was remanded to March 9.

“Bail is now a constitutional right and the State must proffer cogent reasons justifying the denial of an accused person to bail. An accused person cannot be denied bail for the mere reason that they have a pending matter,” Chigodora said.

“The video evidence relied upon by the State has not even been produced in this court yet therefore accused persons are good candidates for bail.”

Haruzivishe and Moyo are being charged with participating in a gathering with intent to promote public violence, breach of peace or bigotry and were represented by Obey Shava of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.

Prosecutor Patience Chimusaru had opposed bail on the basis that Haruzivishe has a pending similar matter before the Mbare Magistrates’ Courts and said he had a propensity to commit further crimes if released.

However, Shava argued that the State had failed to prove that Haruzivishe had any criminal record, adding that their case was very weak and would not induce him to abscond trial.

Chimusaru alleged that on February 19 around 5pm MDC youths gathered at Morgan Tsvangirai House intending to convene a meeting.

The meeting was supposed to be attended by MDC parliamentarians, councillors, and provincial and district youth leaders.

The court heard around 6pm they began chanting slogans and ran from Nelson Mandela Avenue towards Copacabana Bus Terminus.

They allegedly held placards inscribed “Respect our Constitution, ED must go” and sang “Hatichada kunyengerera, hatipihwe order nemasaskam (we are fed up and do not take orders from fools).

According to the State, no police clearance was sought before embarking on the demonstration and the Police Reaction Group dispersed the crowd which later regrouped at Copacabana.

A team of police officers followed up to Copacabana and used tear gas to disperse them but the demonstrators began throwing stones in retaliation.

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