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Matemadanda freed on bail

Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association secretary general Victor Matemadanda was yesterday freed on $200 bail after spending three nights in custody for allegedly insulting President Robert Mugabe.

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

Harare provincial magistrate Elisha Singano ordered Matemadanda to report once every Friday at CID Law and Order section in Gokwe, not to interfere with state witnesses and to reside at his given address.

He will be back in court on September 1.

Matemadanda was released after the police unsuccessfully applied to have him detained for a longer period, claiming they wanted to search for subversive material at his Gokwe home.

Allegations against the former liberation war fighter were that on a date unknown to the state but between July 29 to August 3 this year, he addressed a press conference in Harare and intentionally made a statement aimed at causing disaffection among defence forces.

Matemadanda is said to have challenged Mugabe’s assertion that the military must not meddle in politics.

He also said an interview by army commander Constantino Chiwenga carried by the Sunday Mail where he described Higher and Tertiary Educaton minister Jonathan Moyo as a security threat represented the sentiment among war veterans.

The state alleges the utterances were widely quoted and published in both electronic and print media.

The prosecutor said the statements had the potential to induce defence forces to either withhold their service, loyalty, allegiance or to incite them to commit breaches of discipline.

Francisca Mukumbiri appeared for the state.

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