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Mamombe Challenges Imprisonment

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By Mary Taruvinga


MDC Alliance Harare West MP Joanna Mamombe has filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court seeking a review against a ruling by magistrate Bianca Makwande who committed her to prison for two weeks.

The ruling by the magistrate, made last Thursday, is to allow Mamombe to get examined by mental health doctors ahead of her trial at the same courts.

However, through her lawyers, she wants the decision to be set aside.

“The application by the state for the committal of the applicant for medical examination by two medical practitioners be dismissed,” her application reads.

The lawmaker also wants the respondents to bear the costs for the suit.

Makwande committed Mamombe to prison where she is supposed to be examined by two state doctors to determine if she was able to stand trial.

This follows a successful application by the state seeking that she goes through mental examination on grounds that she was not able to stand trial.

Makwande ruled that facts before the court clearly showed Mamombe was mentally disturbed but could not conclude that she was sick because she is not an expert.

“The court is not an expert on mentality and it requires expert advice to ascertain if the diagnosis will affect the trial.

“The court should exercise its jurisdiction judiciously and feels that section 26 should be invoked,” said Makwande adding Mamombe should be examined by neutral doctors who will give independent reports.