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#July 31 organiser Jacob Ngarivhume denied bail again

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By Mary Taruvinga

JACOB Ngarivhume, organiser of the July 31 anti-government protests was Friday denied bail again.

The opposition leader had approached court with a fresh bail bid while arguing that circumstances that led to initial bail denial had changed.

Ngarivhume, who faces charges of inciting citizens to revolt against government, had argued that the said protests did not take place, hence fears of him influencing violence were no longer existent since the day of the protests had come and gone.

However, Harare magistrate Trynos Utahwashe ruled the opposition leader should remain behind bars.

“The court agrees that July 31 came go and go and that here are changed circumstances.

“However, the anticipated protests have become a movement and the court will stick to its earlier ruling that the public will be endangered because the court has not seen how social distancing will be maintained during the protests,” ruled the court.

Addressing the media soon after the proceedings, Nkomo said he is filing an appeal.

“The court acknowledges that July 31 has come and gone with no violence reports at all but it says what was proposed as July 31 protests has become a movement although no evidence has been given.

“We are surprised that Jacob Ngarivhume is now said to be the founder of that movement. We are hearing it for the first time in court and we are shocked but we are not discouraged in any way. We will be appealing as soon as possible,” he said.

Ngarivhume was arrested on July 20 and has been languishing in jail since then.

He was initially denied bail by the same court before he appealed at the High Court.

The High Court denied him bail again on grounds that he called for protests amid the Covid-19 pandemic thereby exposing the public to dangers of contracting the disease.

After his appeal was thrown out, he applied for bail again at the magistrates’ court on changed circumstances.

He will be back in court on September 4 for his routine remand.