17 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Twenty One MDC Members Granted Bail

press release

A total of 21 MDC activists who are part of the 29 MDC members who are facing false charges of murdering a police officer in Glen View Harare last year were granted bail by Justice Chinembiri Bhunu today.

They have been in remand prison since they were indicted for trial at the High Court in April. Some of the falsely accused had been in remand prison for over 19 months since they were arrested in May 2011.

However, Justice Bhunu denied bail to Last Maengahama, an MDC national executive member, Councillor Tungamirai Madzokere, Yvonne Musarurwa, Rebecca Mafukeni, Simon Mapanzure after the State opposed to their granting of bail claiming the five are a flight risk.

All the 20 including, Solomon Madzore, Cynthia Manjoro and Lovemore Taruvinga Magaya have been ordered to report weekly at the Glen View Police Station.

Those granted bail are; Councillor Oddrey Sydney Chirombe of Ward 33, Budiriro, Lloyd Chitanda, and Tendai Chinyama, Jefias Moyo, Abina Rutsito, Gabriel Shumba, Stephen Takaedzwa, Linda Madyamhanje, Tafadzwa Billiard, Simon Mudimu, Dube Zwelibanzi, Simon Mapanzure, Augustine Tengenyika, Paul Rukanda, Lazarus and Stanford Maengahama, Kerina Dewa, Memory Ncube, Phineas Nhatarikwa and Stanford Mangwiro.

Meanwhile, Justice Bhunu has ordered that Edna Chihota one of the State's witnesses give her evidence in camera at the Harare Magistrates' Courts. The ruling was made after the State had appealed against Chihota in an open court claiming that she had received threats from unknown people.

The MDC maintains that the MDC members are innocent and they are on trial because of their belief in fighting for real change, a better Zimbabwe for all with jobs, health and education. We call for the immediate release of Last Maengahama and other four members.

The long incarceration of the MDC members shows that the Attorney-General's Office is being used by Zanu PF for persecuting and not prosecuting MDC officials and its activists. It vindicates our position that the Glen View murder trial is 100 percent politics and zero percent law.

The Glen View murder case is just but one of the several instances where national institutions such as the Attorney-General's Office have been abused by Zanu PF to achieve its political ends.

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