One more night in detention for Masaraure, as bail ruling is delayed 

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By Paul Katanda

AMALGAMATED Rural Teacher’s Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) leader, Obert Masaraure, is going to spend yet another night in detention awaiting his bail ruling on Tuesday.

Masaraure initially appeared before the courts on Saturday facing charges of incitement to commit public violence after he posted on his Twitter that the CID Law and Order department was being weaponised to paralyse ARTUZ operations.

He also allegedly urged fellow teachers to demand the release of Robson Chere, the ARTUZ secretary general arrested on allegations of murdering Roy Issa back in 2016.

The State alleges that the tweet went viral on various social media platforms, and it was accessed locally and internationally.

Prosecutors allege he persuaded ARTUZ members and the general public to commit public violence.

The State opposed bail, citing that Masaraure committed the offense while on bail for other criminal cases.

Dai Ndlovu, the investigating officer, opposed bail, arguing that if Masaraure is released on bail, he is likely to commit further offences.

“The accused is not suitable for bail because he is likely to abscond, considering the gravity of the offense and we are yet to investigate whether the accused has ties outside Zimbabwe or inside,” said Ndlovu.

Ndlovu told the court that the police are still investigating if the account that tweeted Masaraure’s.

His lawyer, Tapiwa Muchineripi, however, argued that Masaraure is a law-abiding citizen since he was arrested while making his report on another matter as a bail condition and also that he does not have any previous conviction.

“The accused is not likely to abscond since he was arrested while reporting to the police as per his current bail conditions in another matter,” said Muchineripi.

“His passport is still with the clerk of court and the allegations remain a mere offence according to section 70.”

Muchineripi argued that the statement which is being alleged to have been authored by Masaraure does not have his signature.

He submitted the fact that the police had not yet verified the twitter account, whether it’s authentic or not, means they did not have a strong case as yet.