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All eyes on Mamombe trial

by Staff reporter
02 May 2021 at 09:45hrs | Views
BRITAIN says it is following closely the trial of MDC Alliance legislator Joana Mamombe and two other activists for allegedly faking their abduction.

Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova pleaded not guilty to charges of publishing or communicating false information prejudicial to the state when their trial commenced before Harare magistrate Bianca Makwande last week.

British ambassador Melanie Robinson tweeted: "Still following the case of Joana Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova closely.

"Very important that Joana continues to get the medical attention she needs.

"All prisoners have the right to equal and fair treatment under the law."

Mamombe was recently removed from a private Harare hospital and returned to Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison before she could receive specialist treatment.

The trio were arrested on June 11 last year after their alleged abduction during a protest in Harare.

Their trial will continue on Wednesday.

Prosecutors accuse them of trying to avoid trial by flooding the courts with "vexatious" applications.

Last year, United Nations experts called for the release of Mamombe, Chimbiri and Marova, saying they were being persecuted.

They called for thorough investigations into allegations that they were abducted, but prosecutors insist the trio staged their abduction and alleged sexual abuse.

Meanwhile, the trial of Mamombe and seven other MDC Alliance activists accused of engaging in an illegal demonstration last year will start on May 13.

Mamombe, Chimbiri, Marova, Lovejoy Chitengu, Stanely Manyenga, Obey Tererai Sithole and Makomborero Haruzivishe were arrested in May last year.

Harare magistrate Vongai Gawuriro previously blamed the delays on the trial on Mamombe, accusing her of feigning mental illness.

"As long as the first accused continues playing the mental incapacity game on one hand and further committing crimes on the other and gets freed on bail, it will remain a hurdle for the proper administration of justice," Gawuriro said then.

Both trials have attracted global attention with the government accused of persecuting the activists on political grounds.

Source - the stardard