MDC-Alliance youth leaders test positive for coronavirus

MDC-ALLIANCE youth leaders Joana Mamombe and Cecilia Chimbiri, accused of faking their abduction, have tested positive for Covid-19 and could not attend court yesterday.

They were remanded in absentia by acting chief magistrate Faith Mushure in the interest of public health.

Their lawyer Alec Muchadehama produced doctors’ reports to show that the two were not well and Mamombe was in a parked vehicle outside and could not be brought into court.

He added that Chimbiri was bed ridden.

The State also had sight of Mamombe in the vehicle and confirmed her presence.

The court then remanded the matter to December 29 “in the interest of public health”.

Mamombe and Chimbiri were initially jointly charged with Netsai Marova before they were separated after Marova absented herself from court.

Allegations against the three are that on May 13 this year at around 12.30pm, the accused and other MDC-Alliance youths gathered at Choppies Supermarket in Warren Park 1 and staged a demonstration against the recalling of their MPs from Parliament and the alleged misuse of funds for Covid-19 pandemic by the government.

On the same day, it is said they called their friends, family and lawyers saying that they had been arrested at a roadblock near the Showgrounds and were taken to Harare Central Police Station.

Upon receiving the communication, their lawyer Jeremiah Bamu reportedly went to the police CID Law and Order.

Bamu is alleged to have told Detective Chief Chibaya saying the accused have been arrested and taken to Harare Central police station.

Reports are that checks were made and it was established that they were not arrested.

On the same day, social media platforms and local newspapers were awash with news that the three had been arrested.

It is said on May 15, at around 1am lawyer Bamu advised the police that the three were at Muchapondwa Business Centre in Bindura.

The police and Bamu went to Muchapondwa business centre in Bindura, collected the trio and took them to a hospital in Waterfalls as they claimed to have been tortured.

On May 19, 2020, Marova was interviewed by Detective Chafa to the effect that she was abducted and tortured by the police.

Mamombe and Chimbiri were later interviewed on May 25, 2020, according to the State.

Claims are that investigations by the police revealed that they were never abducted and they had stage managed the kidnapping.

It is also alleged that during the time of the said kidnapping they were at Belgravia Shopping Centre.