‘Tsenengamu is safer in custody’
THE threat on the life of former Zanu PF youth league national political commissar, Godfrey Tsenengamu, who was being trailed by unknown people, cannot be downplayed and he should be kept in custody for his safety and the interest of justice, the court has said.
Tsenengamu, who is facing allegations of inciting public violence ahead of the foiled July 31 protest, was yesterday denied bail by Harare regional magistrate Ngoni Nduna, who said allegations that he had to seek refuge from the police whom he had been evading for the past three months is enough to justify the risk on his life.
The outspoken politician handed himself over to the police on Friday, saying unidentified people had been following him. The court indicated that this was not an ordinary surrender, but that the threats forced him out of his hiding.
The State led by Lancelot Mutsokoti opposed bail, saying being in custody was for his own safety.
The State said Tsenengamu’s accomplices, who include former Zanu PF youth leader Jim Kunaka, were on the run and if released they could team up and re-offend.
Tsenengamu’s lawyer, Harrison Nkomo, urged the court to dismiss the claim that his client’s life was in danger stating that it was “disingenuous”.
He also submitted that there has been no evidence to show that the police were looking for him.
He further urged the court to treat Tsenengamu in the same manner as MDC Alliance deputy national chairperson Job Sikhala and Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume, who were granted bail by the High Court on similar charges.
This was also dismissed by the court, which stated that uniformity does not apply as the other named persons were not in hiding for three months.
Tsenengamu is alleged to have made several inciting statements on social media.
In one of the audio recordings that the State is relying on, Tsenengamu allegedly said: “From July 31 and beyond you must know that people will die as never previously witnessed in this country. Masses will be heavily beaten, thievery and corruption will increase to unprecedented levels… boys and girls who are in the diaspora with parents in the country, encourage your parents to attend the protests in their numbers and fight for themselves, fight for you and fight for the country as you are being oppressed in the diaspora where you are based, so that you will be able to come to them.”
According to the State, he also used his twitter account @Godfrey_Tsenaz and posted: “I am not sure about the results of this approach. Anyway, Zimbabwe must win. The Green Revolution is saying corruption and looting must fall on July 31.”
He will be back in court on October 27.