By Robert Tapfumaneyi
INCARCERATED Harare West MP, Joanna Mamombe and two female MDC Alliance activists, Netsai Marova and Cecilia Chimbiri have approached the High Court seeking bail.
The trio is facing allegations of communicating false statements prejudicial to the State after alleging abduction and torture by suspected security agents last month.
They were denied bail Monday by Harare magistrate Bianca Makwande on the basis that they were a flight risk.
However, at the High Court, the activists’ lawyer Alec Muchadehama argued the magistrate erred in denying his clients bail.
High Court Judge Erica Ndewere deferred the matter to next Monday after the State, represented by Richard Chikosha, indicated it only received the application later on the same day and needed time to file heads of argument.
“The court a quo failed to appreciate that the allegations in both records CRB5359/20 and CRB5766/20 remained mere allegations that had not been proved and thus the presumption of innocence still favoured the applicants,” argued Muchadehama.
“The court a quo misdirected itself in failing to appreciate that the applicants have no bad criminal records, a prerequisite for finding propensity to commit further or similar offences. The court failed to determine the credibility of the evidence which was said to be available with the investigating officer.”
Last Monday, the investigating officer told the magistrate court the police required 14 more days to complete investigations as well as ascertain the accused persons’ actual addresses, which have since been established.