State Invokes Section 121 To Deny Bail To Media Monitors

The trio namely Fadzai December, Molly Chimhanda and Gilbert Mabusa, was further remanded in custody to the 16th of December.

They are being charged under the notorious Public Order and Security Act (POSA) for failing to give notice of the meeting.

They are also being charged in terms of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for participating in a gathering with the intent to
promote public violence, breaches of peace or bigotry.

In granting the trio bail, the magistrate concurred with the defense counsel led by Kossam Ncube that three were not a flight risk considering the fact that they had handed themselves to Gwanda police
from Harare, and that the charges there are facing were not serious as the sentence has an option of a fine if convicted.

After magistrate Zvenyika had granted bail in what is becoming a tradition, state prosecutor Blessing Gundani invoked section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act – 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.

The draconian piece of legislation has in the past been arbitrarily invoked particularly against members of the Movement for Democratic Change formations and human rights defenders.