MDC secretary general Hwende in High Court freedom bid

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By Mary Taruvinga

MDC Secretary General Charlton Hwende has accused the state of arresting him before concluding investigations and is now contesting for freedom at the High Court.

Hwende has approached the High Court seeking removal from remand until the state completes its investigations.

He is accused of attempting to subvert a constitutionally elected Government in March last year when he allegedly posted on his Twitter handle inciting people to revolt against the Government both in his personal capacity and as MDC legislator.

In his application he complained that he has been on remand routine for at least 11 times before the Harare Magistrates Rumbidzai Mugwagwa for the same cause.

He once applied for removal from remand but his application flopped and the legislator also wants the ruling set aside.

“The basis of the application was that one year had lapsed since my initial remand and the state had not made any progress in procuring trial date,” said Hwende in his founding affidavit.

“State was abusing the remand process to curtail my liberty, Ms Mugwagwa was abusing the remand procedure and I was suffering financial prejudice arising out of engaging lawyers when the state did not intend to finalise the matter.”

Cited as the respondents in his application are Mugwagwa and National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) as the second respondent.

Hwende said the decision by the magistrate throw away his application had irregularities.

“This application for review of the decision of the first respondent dismissing my application for refusal of further remand on the grounds that there were gross irregularities in the proceedings, the decision made by the first respondent in the matter is irrational, not justifiable and is biased against the applicant.

“In the present case state had said it would finish its investigations by 4 April 2019 but failed to give reasonable doubt why it failed to meet its deadline,” he said.

He said if granted his request this would enable him to perform his duties well.

Hwende also submitted that he is not a flight risk and had his passport back and was no longer had reporting to the police as part of his bail conditions.