On Thursday morning Bulawayo High Court Judge Justice Maphios Cheda who was standing in for Justice Nicholas Ndou granted US$2000 bail with strict conditions to the three MLF senior executive members Charles Thomas, John Gazi and Paul Siwela who are facing treason charges after arrested three weeks ago in different locations in the city for distributing party flyers.
However soon after the bail granting the state prosecution team led by Whisper Mabhaudi and Martha Cheda told the judge that there invoking Section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act (CPEA) to suspend the MLF leaders’ release claiming investigations on the treason case were still on.
This means the three MLF leaders will remain detained at Khami Maximum Remand prison where there are being kept in solitary confinements for the next seven days.
Speaking to journalists after the court ruling Matshobana Ncube one of the lawyers representing MLF leaders said there were disappointed by the blocking of the bail by the state.
“As the defence team we are very disappointed by the state‘s latest move. But we are not giving up, were now going to Supreme Court,” said Ncube.
On Monday the state prosecutors had pleaded with High court not to grant MLF leaders bail describing them as a bunch of criminals who have criminal records dating back to 1982.
The militant and radical MLF was launched in January this year and is advocating for the independence of the Matabeleland region located in the southern part of Zimbabwe saying the Ndebele speaking people of have been marginalised by the government for too long and also face discrimination every day at work places and tertiary institutions.
The call for Matabeleland secession from Zimbabwe appeared to have been encouraged by events in South Sudan where people there voted overwhelmingly to break away from mainland Sudan in a referendum.