By Mary Taruvinga
FORMER Zanu PF national youth political commissar Godfrey Tsenengamu, who was among 14 political activists listed on the police wanted list over the foiled #July31 anti-corruption protests has been granted bail at the High Court.
Tsenengamu is accused of inciting the public to commit violence and was arrested about two weeks ago after he surrendered himself to the police.
Now the leader of the Plan for Economic Emancipation in Zimbabwe, Tsenengamu went into hiding in July after police launched a manhunt for him and other opposition activists ahead of the July 31 protests that were thwarted by security forces.
He was initially denied bail by Harare magistrate Ngoni Nduna who ruled that his life was in danger because some unknown people were hunting him down.
The magistrate said the only safe place for him was Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison or he risked losing his life.
But High Court judge, Justice David Foroma Wednesday ruled the magistrate’s ruling lacked merit.
“The High Court judge found out that the magistrate erred in failing to grant my client bail. He said there was a clear misdirection because no evidence was given by the state to prove that he is a flight risk or to prove that his life was in danger,” his lawyer Harrison Nkomo said in an interview.
As part of his bail conditions Tsenengamu was ordered to surrender his passport with the clerk of court, to continue residing at his given address, not to interfere with state witnesses, and report twice a week at Waterfalls Police Station in Harare.
The state alleges that Tsenengamu incited the public to participate in demonstrations, a move that could result in public violence and breach of peace in Zimbabwe.
They said his Twitter messages were also inflammatory.
“From July 31 and beyond, you must know that the people will die as never previously witnessed in this country,” part of Tsenengamu’s tweet cited by the police reads.
“Masses will be beaten heavily, thievery and corruption will increase to unprecedented levels … boys and girls who are in Diaspora with parents in the country, encourage your parents to attend the protests in their numbers and fight for themselves, fight for you and fight for the country as you are being oppressed in the Diaspora where you are based so that you will be able to come to you.”
The charge sheet further stated that he wrote: “Some Zanu PF and MDC politicians who are archbishops and bishops of corruption, respectively, must find another day for their fight and not spoil the 31st (July). Toxic politics has divided and polarised us.”
However, Tsenengamu denies the charges.