Seven MDC Activists Denied Bail

Seven of her co-accused persons had their bail pleas turned down by Justice Samuel Kudya, who concurred with the state that the accused persons were “flight risks.”

In his judgment on a bail application lodged by the eight accused persons’ lawyers, Kudya said he took into consideration that Manjoro was a single mother whose child would need her presence to nourish and grow.

“This court is the highest guardian of minors in this country,” said Kudya. “It is the duty of this court to ensure that minors are taken care of and it is in this light that this court admits the eighth applicant to bail. The applicant shall deposit a sum of US$500 with the Harare magistrate court’s clerk, reside at her given address, and shall not interfere with state witnesses,” Kudya ruled.

He however threw out the assertions of the defence lawyers that the circumstances that existed when his fellow judges, Justices Tendai Uchena threw out earlier bids for the seven’s freedom had changed, arguing there had been no change in circumstances.

“The accused persons’ circumstances have remained the same. Nothing has changed,” he said. 

Kudya’s ruling followed a gruesome two hour hearing Thursday morning as the defence attorneys fought hard to convince him to release their clients on bail.

Manjoro’s case was made simple after the state counsel, Edmore Nyazamba, in his submission, said he would be amenable to her being granted bail on the basis that she had an infant to take care of.

Said Nyazamba: “My Lord, with particular reference to accused person number eight (Manjoro), the state is particularly concerned for the infant that she has proved to be taking care of.

“It is the state’s opinion that with the consent of the court, the accused person could be admitted to bail on the grounds that she is taking care of the child as evidenced by the submissions made in court.”

Nyazamba’s statements followed a submission made by defence lawyer, Zhuwarara that Manjoro should be granted bail as a matter of urgency as she had a duty to perform, which naturally cannot be performed by anyone else, that of nourishing an infant.

“It is my respectable submission to this court that we have discovered that the eighth applicant has a minor child who depends on her for all nourishment required by a minor. And that is something that cannot be done by anyone else besides the applicant herself.

“It is therefore, our prayer, as the defence team, that the applicant be admitted to bail. We have also discovered that she had been admitted for studies at one institution and we believe that the state cannot deny her the opportunity to study due to the alleged offence, which is now weaker as a result of the state’s actions,” said Zhuwarara.

Zhuwarara also prayed that the court should admit all the other seven applicants bail as the case that the state had built against them had weakened.

“There have been changes in the circumstances in which these accused persons were arrested under. So serious are the changes that if taken into account, they might have a bearing on the outcome of the whole matter, My Lord,” Zhuwarara said.

He enunciated various changes to the circumstances surrounding the arrests of all the eight applicants, arguing that had the state taken all the circumstances into account, some of which were new circumstances presented during the application for bail, then his clients would have been granted bail long back.

The seven activists include Councillor Tungamirai Madzokere of Ward 32 Glen View, Rebecca Mafukeni, Yvonne Musarurwa, Stanford Maengahama, Lazarus Maengahama, Stanford Mangwiro and Phineas Nhatarikwa.