Machisa Denied Bail
Machisa was arrested on Monday on allegations of forgery , fraud and communicating and publishing falsehoods prejudicial to the State.
In denying Machisa bail, the magistrate based his decisions mainly on three reasons, firstly that the case is a matter of national interest since the nature of the alleged offence is meant to discredit national institutions, that is the Registrar General’s office, secondly that the investigations are complex hence the state needs more time to
carry out a thorough investigation throughout all the Zimrights branches across the country and lastly that the co-accused, Leo Chamawhinya, is remanded in custody hence no basis to remand Machisa out of custody.
The magistrate further said that the public would lose confidence in the justice system if Machisa is granted bail since it is a high profile case of national interest. The magistrate, however, did not refer to legal arguments to the contrary submitted by Machisa’s lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa in what appeared like a clearly motivated
political judgment. Machisa is also the chairman of the Crisis on Zimbabwe Coalition.
Phillian Zamchiya, the spokesman for Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, said the detention of Machisa shows that the state has no respect for the presumption of innocence principle.
“We condemn this calculated assault on activists meant to cow civil society organizations that are fighting for democratic reforms before the next watershed election. We reiterate our position that the political environment in Zimbabwe is not yet conducive for a free and fair election, said Zamchiya.
“We appeal for solidarity action, regional and international pressure on the Zimbabwe state to respect the rule of law. Such action is important to mitigate against a possible surge in the harassment and detention of activists especially as we head toward the general election,” he said.