Mamombe, Chimbiri to know fate on Friday

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MDC Alliance's Joana Mamombe to know her fate on Friday after yet another High Court appeal
MDC Alliance's Joana Mamombe to know her fate on Friday after yet another High Court appeal

Donald Chakamanga

The MDC Alliance duo of Johanna Mamombe and Cecilia Chimbiri will know the fate of their latest bid for freedom with High Court Judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi expected to make a ruling on Friday this week.

The duo made another appeal against refusal of bail on changed circumstances.

Justice Chitapi ruled against the duo’s bail application on the basis that the court a quo did not stray in its judgement.

The appellants are represented by Alec Michadehama who submitted that there are changed circumstances due to the relaxation of lockdown restrictions and people now interact in greater numbers.

Muchadehama also said according to Section 70 of the Constitution, a person cannot be convicted of something which is no longer an offence.

In response, the State represented by Fungai Nyahunzvi argued that there were no changed circumstances as lockdown restrictions were still in force adding that there were no assurances from the appellants that they will desist from addressing public gatherings without authority from the police.

Mamombe and Chimbiri were arraigned before the courts for contravening Section 5 (3) (a) of the Public Health (Covid-19 Prevention, Containment and Treatment) (National Lockdown) Consolidation and Amendment Order of Statutory Instrument 200/2020.

The Amendment Order is read with Statutory Instrument 42/2021 on convening gatherings.

Meanwhile, the Crisis Coalition of Zimbabwe gender committee has expressed its dismay over the alleged capture of the judiciary in Zimbabwe.

The committee said the capture had led to violation of citizens’ fundamental rights as enshrined in the country’s constitution.

On Mamombe and Chimbiri, the committee said the State continued to defy Section 50 of the Zimbabwe’s Constitution on the rights of arrested and detained persons.

“We implore the State to uphold citizens’ fundamental rights and desist from the weaponization of the judiciary to clamp down on opposition activists. An independent judiciary is a critical component of a democratic society and we condemn the State’s overbearing influence on the judiciary. We are further concerned that the State continues to use brute force in response to genuine calls for reforms by concerned citizens.

“As the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Gender Committee, we will use all appropriate legal means to challenge judicial capture and hold the State to account on rights violations and we call upon progressive Zimbabweans to complement our efforts.”

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