Chaotic scenes at Magistrates court as CCC leader, 77 opposition activists are denied bail in absentia

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By Mary Taruvinga

Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) activists and the party’s interim leader, Jameson Timba have been denied bail by Harare Magistrate Ruth Moyo.

The activists were arrested on June 16 on allegations of participating in an unlawful gathering and disorderly conduct.

They were not brought to court for their ruling on Thursday amid security fears.

This follows threats to demonstrate by their colleagues who were not happy with their continued incarceration.

Police officers were at the court with anti-riot officers on standby at the entrance and inside the court building.

As soon as the ruling was handed down, police officers drove hundreds of people who came in solidarity out of the premises creating chaotic scenes.

In handing down her ruling, Moyo said the suspects were likely to re-offend if granted bail.

She also said they are likely to be convicted and get a custodial sentence which might force them to skip bail.

“The court made a finding that they might interfere with the State and investigations, alleging that they had already violently exhibited themselves by attacking the police.

“The court also said there is a possibility that they will be convicted and if convicted they might face a custodial sentence,” said Jeremiah Bamu representing the activists.

Outside court, party supporters sang denouncing the continued detention of Timba and other activists.

Agency Gumbo, representing the activists said it was unfair that the magistrate treated their clients as convicts when they are yet to face trial.

“The law is clear that every suspect is innocent until proven guilty.

“We don’t believe that the state has sufficient evidence…,” he said before he was cut short by officers who demanded his arrest for addressing the media.

The lawyer was later whisked away to safety by security aides.

Timba and alleged accomplices will be back in court on July 10 for their routine remand.