Magistrate Grants Bail To American Health Workers

They were also asked to surrender their passports and reside at the addresses they gave to the court by Harare magistrate, Munamato Mutevedzi.

The six accused are Gloria Cox Crowell (48), Reid Andrew John Cheyne (49), Anthony Eugene Jones (39), Gregory Reynard Miller (64), David Greenberg (62) and Tembinkosi Ncomanzi (37) a local doctor at Marondera general hospital.

John Cheyne is a New Zealand doctor who is resident in the country and works at the University of Zimbabwe department of Health and Science.

Crowell is facing another separate charge of importing drugs for distribution in Zimbabwe.

Jonathan Samkange, who is representing the six, said the Attorney General office consented to bail adding that his clients are denying all the charges that have been leveled on them.

Samkange said he was surprised that the court has decided to charge the six saying the state’s case is poor.

“Its very poor. I am actually embarrassed that the state has decided to charge them,” Samkange said adding that the four Americans were volunteers.

“They are the ones who were send by their mother church, Allen Temple Baptist church to observe the distribution of the donated AIDS drugs.”

Earlier the American embassy issued a statement saying the accused four Americans were one doctor, , two nurses and a community volunteer.

“Four American citizens, who are part of a Christian volunteer health service of the Allen Temple AIDS Ministry based in Oakland, CA, were arrested on September 9th in Harare on suspicion of disbursing antiretroviral (ARV) drugs without a license,” the embassy said.

“Consular officers of the US Embassy in Harare immediately went to visit the group in custody and have stayed in close touch with the group and their representatives for the past three days.   The group of Americans includes one doctor, two nurses and a community volunteer.”

“They operated from two clinics, one in Mutoko and one in Harare, where they worked primarily with AIDS orphans and HIV+ patients for the past decade,” the embassy said.