Zimbabwe: State Wants Mamombe Mentally Assessed

From left, Joana Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri, and Netsai Marovaface in a Harare court (file photo).
23 September 2020

The State yesterday made an application for MDC Alliance legislator for Harare West, Joanna Mamombe, to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital for mental examination.

Mamombe is jointly charged with Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova for allegedly faking their abduction in May this year.

Prosecutor Mr Michael Reza told Harare regional magistrate Mrs Bianca Makwande that Mamombe has to be assessed by two Government doctors in terms of Section 26 of the Mental Health Act.

"The accused has been brought to court several times with excuses of mental disorder hence the need to detain her in a facility for mental assessment.

"Mamombe needs treatment and the court needs assistance from Government experts to determine a time frame when she will be fit for trial," he said.

"Dr Fungisai Mazhandu, who testified before the court, brought no proof whatsoever that she was a psychiatrist. She failed to determine for how long Mamombe needs treatment hence the court needs assistance from Government experts to determine the time Mamombe needs to be certified fit for trial," he said.

Mr Jeremiah Bamu, who is part of Mamombe's legal team, requested that the application be postponed to another date as the lead counsel Mr Alec Muchadehama was in Gweru on another matter.

Mr Bamu told the court that the prosecutor handling the Gweru case had asked Mr Reza to postpone the matter to Friday. Mr Reza confirmed this, but said that he informed Mr Bamu that he would oppose the postponement as there was no need for Mr Muchadehama to wait for the sentencing of his client in Gweru.

Mrs Makwande ruled that Mamombe had a right to a fair hearing by choosing a legal counsel of her choice despite Mr Bamu assisting Mr Muchadehama.

She allowed the State to make its application in terms of section 26 (2)(b) of the Mental Health Act and gave Mr Muchadehama the chance to respond when he avails himself today.

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