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Detained teachers union leader Masaraure appeals for bail at the High Court

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By Thandiwe Garusa

AMALGAMATED Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) leader, Obert Masaraure,  has approached the High Court, seeking release on bail after the same was denied by the lower court.

Masaraure, who is also spokesperson for Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, was first arrested on the 14th of June on accusations that he murdered his friend, Roy Issa, in 2016 and this was even though an inquest into Issa’s death ruled out foul play.

He was granted a ZW$60 000 bail on the 29th of June by the High Court.

Barely a week after, Masaraure was rearrested for inciting public violence after he allegedly posted on Twitter urging teachers to demand the release of his colleague, Robson Chere, who was in jail by that time for the same accusations of murdering Issa.

Masaraure has filed an appeal through his lawyer, Tapiwa Muchineripi of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).

He argued that the lower court erred in denying him bail because the State had no compelling reasons for him to remain locked.

Muchineripi says the magistrate,  Stanford Mambanje, who presided over his bail hearing, made a mistake by denying Masaraure bail.

“Freedom is a fundamental right and after a lengthy process, we filed a bail appeal at the High Court on behalf of ARTUZ leader, Obert Masaraure, who has been in jail on charges of obstructing or defeating the course of justice.

“We have stated in a bail appeal, filed by Tapiwa Muchineripi, that Harare Magistrate, Stanford Mambanje erred and misdirected himself when he denied Masaraure bail on 14 July,” said his lawyers.

Masaraure feels charges against him were fabricated and politically motivated.