Zimbabwe: Chin'ono, Ngarivhume Bail Ruling Tomorrow

5 August 2020

The High Court is tomorrow expected to hand down judgment in the case in which political activist, Hopewell Chin'ono, and the leader of Transform Zimbabwe Jacob Ngarivhume, are seeking bail pending trial on charges of incitement to commit public violence.

The duo was refused bail at the magistrates' court prompting them to approach the High Court on appeal.

Justice Tawanda Chitapi heard both applications on Monday and reserved judgment to tomorrow, saying he wanted time to study the submissions made in both cases.

In his appeal for bail, Chin'ono who is being represented by lawyer, Ms Beatrice Mtetwa, argued that he never called for violence as claimed by prosecutors, in their bid to have him kept in custody until the matter is finalised.

Ms Mtetwa said the prosecution claim that her client called for protests from July 31 until President Mnangagwa resigned, was mere allegations with no evidence placed before the magistrate who, however, went on to uphold the prosecution assertion.

Mtetwa said it was clear the magistrate failed in the decision to deny Chin'ono bail.

Prosecutor Whisper Mabhaudhi, who appeared for the State, said Chin'ono was not a suitable candidate of bail, saying the fact that July 31 has come and gone peacefully was a new circumstance, cannot be entertained by the court.

Charges against Chin'ono arose after he allegedly posted messages calling for mass demonstrations by any means to overthrow a constitutionally elected Government.

In another case, the convener of the flopped July 31 protests, Ngarivhume, will also know his fate tomorrow.

The pair was denied bail at magistrates' court on the grounds that they were likely to continue inciting people to rebel against the authorities.

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