BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Two MDC Alliance officials, Harare West MP Joanah Mamombe and Cecilia Chimbiri were yesterday released on $20 000 bail each by the High Court after languishing in remand prison for two months.
High Court judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi ruled that the pair’s conduct stretched the court’s patience and, as such, bail would be granted under strict conditions.
The duo has been barred from addressing gatherings of more than 50 people, to continue residing at their given addresses and not to interfere with investigations, among other conditions.
They successfully applied for bail after four attempts.
The judge said magistrate Bianca Makwande was supposed to establish if the applicants had established new facts when they reapplied for bail on changed circumstances.
The activists’ lawyer Alec Muchadehama had submitted that COVID-19 regulations had been relaxed and that she was allowed to address a gathering of not more than 50 people.
“However, my comment on the grounds of appeal is that they are generalised with no impact on their request. The appellants should have attacked the decision by the lower court to deny them bail,” Justice Chitapi said.
He said only one ground out of 12 submitted was convincing.
The judge said the two should give the criminal justice system a chance to determine their innocence than to continue re-offending, saying this was more like mockery of the justice system of the country in defiance of the existing
“Mamombe has much to lose if she disregards the law which she helped to create, but I will give her another chance to reform,” he further ruled.
The judge also warned her to respect the oath she took as a parliamentarian.
Justice Chitapi said Chimbiri was a support cast actress who only imitates or follows what Mamombe does.
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