Latest on Harare mayor Gomba, Chin’ono bail hearing

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By Mary Taruvinga

HARARE mayor Hebert Gomba, mired in a city land scandal, will spend another night in state custody after his bail hearing failed to kick off Thursday.

Gomba appeared before Harare magistrate Bianca Makwande facing a charge of criminal abuse of office.

The state alleges the city’s first resident illegally parcelled out land for houses to a Housing Cooperative called Taringana Housing scheme.

Prosecutor Jonathan Murombedzi said Gomba did this knowing the land was a wetland with the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) was also against the move.

He was represented by his lawyers Lovemore Madhuku and Harrison Nkomo.

Gomba raised complaints against the police when he appeared in court.

“The accused was arrested by over 20 police officers who did not identify themselves except for one,” his lawyers said.

Madhuku said this was intimidation to his client.

The lawyer said his client was interrogated for over four hours in the absence of his lawyers.

The state is opposed to bail.

Bail hearing is expected this Friday.

In another case, bail hearing of award winning journalist Hopewell Chin’ono continues Friday.

He is facing a charge of inciting the public to commit violence by calling for a nationwide protest against the government via his Twitter account.

Chin’ono denies the allegations.

His lawyers Beatrice Mtetwa, Douglas Coltart and Gift Mtisi are yet to submit their arguments for bail.

Magistrate Ngoni Nduna is presiding over the case.