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Mamombe Challenges Separation Of Trial Order By Magistrate

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By Ndatenda Njanike


MDC Alliance MP for Harare West Joanna Mamombe has filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court seeking review of a ruling by magistrate Bianca Makwande to separate her trials with the other two she had been trailed with.

Makwande last month ordered that Mamombe should be tried separately with her co-accused Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova after the young legislator had been declared suffering mental ailment.

It is in the state’s case that the three activists were jointly charged with publishing or communicating falsehoods prejudicial to the state and trying to defeat the course of justice by faking their abductions allegedly by state security agents.

“The Applicants intend to apply to the High Court of Zimbabwe sitting in Harare for a review of the Provincial Magistrate’s Court’s decision handed on the 23rd of November 2020.

“Wherein the court granted an application for the separation of the applicants’ trials which had been made by the state,” Mamombe said in her application.

The opposition lawmaker also bases her reason of application on the basis that the magistrate had a wrong reading of her medical reports and that the separation of trials was prejudicial of them.

“The 1st respondent reason for separation of trial was based on a wrong reading of the medical reports,” Mamombe said in the application.

“Further, the separation of trials of the applicants is prejudicial of them.”

Mamombe’s struggles with the law was ignited by a 13 May incident in which they were arrested for staging an anti-government demonstration in Harare’s high density Warren Park suburb and according to the state, this was in violation of Covid-19 lockdown rules imposed by authorities.

The activists however claim they were initially kidnapped at a police roadblock along Samora Machel avenue on their way into the city centre following the protest.

They claim they were first taken to Harare Central police station where they were whisked away by suspected state security agents who went on to subject the activists to horrendous acts of physical torture and sexual abuse.