Court ends trade union leaders malicious incarceration,dismisses Mawarire and Mutasa’s challenge of inordinate delay of subversion trial

By Court Reporter

HARARE Magistrate Barbra Mateko on Tuesday 25 June 2019 dismissed the
State’s bid to revoke the bail granted to Amalgamated Rural Teachers
Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) President Obert Masaraure and to commit him
to prison for allegedly violating his bail conditions.

The State had petitioned the Harare Magistrates Court seeking to
revoke the bail granted to Masaraure, who is out of custody on bail on
charges of subverting constitutional government, after claiming that
the trade unionist had breached his bail conditions by not reporting
at Zimbabwe Republic Police station in Hwedza and by not residing at
Chemhanza High School in Hwedza in Mashonaland East province, where he
is employed as a teacher, as ordered by the High Court.

But Masaraure’s lawyers Jeremiah Bamu and Doug Coltart of Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) opposed the State’s application
arguing that the ARTUZ leader, who was arrested and detained on Friday
21 June 2019, had not breached any of his bail conditions and had
religiously reported to the police and was staying at his given
residential address.

Magistrate Mateko on Tuesday 25 June 2019 dismissed the State’s
application for revocation of Masaraure’s bail conditions and ordered
that the ARTUZ leader should regain his liberty which had been
curtailed after he was arrested and detained at Harare Remand Prison.

Meanwhile, Harare Magistrate Jessie Kufa on Tuesday 25 June 2019
ordered that His Generation Church leader Pastor Evan Mawarire and
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) President Peter Mutasa should
remain on remand after ruling that the passage of five months without
placing the two pro-democracy campaigners on trial was not an
inordinate delay to warrant their removal from remand.

Pastor Mawarire’s and Mutasa’s lawyers Alec Muchadehama and Tonderai
Bhatasara of ZLHR had opposed the continued placement of the duo on
remand arguing that the State had taken long in commencing with their
trial.

Pastor Mawarire and Mutasa were arrested in January and charged with
subverting constitutional government as defined in section 22 of the
Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act after they allegedly
organised anti-government protests in January with the aim of
overthrowing President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration from power.