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CCC's Gomba freed on bail

by Staf reporter
18 Mar 2022 at 05:31hrs | Views
FORMER Harare mayor Herbert Gomba was yesterday released on $50 000 bail by regional magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje who ordered him not to interfere with witnesses or investigations.

As part of the bail conditions, Gomba was also ordered to report once a week to the police.

Mr Mambanje granted Gomba bail after noting that the State had not provided compelling reasons warranting his continued detention pending finalisation of his matter.

Gomba is charged with perjury and violating some sections of the Electoral Act.

The allegations stemmed from reports that he used the same residential address in Glen Norah B suburb, Harare to register 22 voters in Ward 17 where he contested during the July 2018 harmonised elections.

He was not asked to plead to the charges when he initially appeared in court.

The State led by Mr Lancelot Mutsokoti had opposed to granting of bail saying Gomba was likely to face a custodial sentence upon conviction, which may induce him to flee and avoid trial.

Mr Mutsokoti said the State has a strong case against Gomba with several witnesses expected to testify against him.

In his ruling, Mr Mambanje said it would be unfair to keep Gomba in custody when there was no evidence to prove that he would interfere with investigations.

The court said the State erred when it failed to give the names of witnesses it fears Gomba would interfere with when granted bail.

"The investigating officer did not bother to go to the house and interview the parents. It will be unfair for accused continued detention because of the State has failed to do its investigations.

"With the calibre of evidence at hand, the court notes that accused has a strong fighting ground," he said.

Mr Mambanje said Gomba went to the police on his own, a clear demonstration of cooperation with the police.

Gomba, through lawyers Mr Harrison Nkomo and Mr Garikayi Mhishi, told the court that the State failed to prove that it had a strong case against him.

The State led by Mr Kennedy Madekutsikwa alleges that sometime in 2017, Gomba went to Ruvheneko Primary School in Glen Norah where he submitted an affidavit of Residence Voter Registration (Form VR9) in terms of the Electoral (Voter Registration) Regulations, 2017 to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission officials to register as a voter in Harare's Ward 17.

Gomba was contesting for the Ward 17 seat during the elections.

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It is said that during the registration process, Gomba gave false information in an affidavit that he was staying at Number 5756 Muroro Crescent, Glen Norah B, when he was not residing there.

According to the State, the house in question is a four-roomed building with two bedrooms, combined lounge and dining room and a kitchen.

The court heard that between October 22 and December 30, 2017, 22 people registered to vote using the same address with nine of them sharing the same surname with Gomba.

Gomba and the said 22 people allegedly intended to manipulate the electoral process in the local authority election during the 2018 harmonised elections in his favour.

He is expected to appear in court on April 27.

Source - The Herald
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