High Court Orders Release Of Media Monitors
Magistrate Douglas Zvenyika last week Friday granted $50 bail each to the three MMPZ advocacy officers namely Fadzai December, Molly Chimhanda and Gilbert Mabusa, but the order was immediately suspended following the invocation of Section 121 – a counter measure which prosecutors invoke to defeat the bail order and retain accused persons in custody for a further 7 days to allow the state time to file an appeal against the bail ruling.
They are being charged under section 25 (1) b of the notorious Public Order and Security Act (POSA) for “participating in a gathering without seeking authority from the regulating authority”.
They are also facing another charge of contravening section 37(1) b of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for “distributing material that is likely to provoke a breach of peace”.
Last week the state added an alternative charge of undermining the authority of or insulting President Robert Mugabe.
In granting the trio bail last Friday the magistrate concurred with the defense counsel led by Kossam Ncube that the three were not a flight risk considering the fact that they had handed themselves to Gwanda police from Harare, and that the charges they are facing were not serious as the sentence has an option of a fine if convicted.
“We are in the process of facilitating the release of the three, and they should be out of custody by the end of the day”, said their lawyer.
The case has been remanded to the 5th of January next year.