24 February 2014

Zimbabwe: Ex-U.S Lawmaker Reynolds Deported

Photo: newzimbabwe
Charged: Mel Reynolds arriving for the court hearing in Harare.

Former United States Congressman for Chicago Melvin Jay Reynolds, convicted on Friday and fined US$100 for overstaying in Zimbabwe, was yesterday deported to his home country.Assistant regional immigration officer Mr Francis Mabika confirmed the deportation but declined to give further details.

"I can confirm that Reynolds has left the country but for security reasons, I cannot tell you the time and the plane that he used," said Mr Mabika.

Sources told The Herald that Reynolds left Harare Remand Prison yesterday at noon and was taken to Harare International Airport.

On Friday he had pleaded guilty to breaching immigration laws and magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe fined him and ordered his deportation.

On the charge of possession of pornographic material, Mr Mahwe removed Reynolds from remand after a successful application by his lawyer, Mr Arthur Gurira of Nyamushaya and Associates.

Mr Gurira challenged his client's replacement on remand on the basis that the State failed to produce written authority to prosecute from the Attorney-General.

If a person is facing allegations of contravening Section 26(1)(b) of the Censorship and Entertainment Control Act, the State can only prosecute with authority from the AG's Office as stated in Section 26 (2) of the Act.

On November 13 last year, Reynolds entered Zimbabwe through Plumtree Border Post on a business visa valid until November 27, 2013. Reynolds did not extend his stay in the country since December 10 and did not return to the United States on the expiry of his permit.

It was also alleged that Reynolds had pictures of naked men and women having sexual intercourse on his iPhone 4s.

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