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MDC Alliance abductees' bail hearing today

by Staff reporter
23 Jun 2020 at 07:49hrs | Views
MDC-Alliance legislator Joana Mamombe and two other party activists accused of lying to the police about being abducted, will know their fate today when the High Court is expected to determine their bail application.

Mamombe and the party's youth assembly activists Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova were last week remanded in custody.

Their bail hearing, which had been scheduled for yesterday before High Court Judge Justice David Foroma was postponed at the behest of the prosecution.

The State, led by Mr Richard Chikosha, sought the postponement arguing that they were still to file their response to the trio's application.

The defence team led by Mr Alec Muchadehama of Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni did not oppose the postponement. Mamombe, Chimbiri and Marova - were allegedly spotted at Belgravia Shopping Centre in Harare at the time they claim to have been abducted.

This emerged in court last week when they appeared before magistrate Ms Bianca Makwande on new charges of publishing false information or obstructing the course of justice.

The State says it is in possession of video footage of the three at Belgravia Shopping Centre at around 4.45pm on May 13, the day they said they were abducted earlier in the afternoon.

Allegations against the trio are that on May 13, at around 12.30pm, they gathered at Choppies Supermarket in Warren Park 1 with other MDC-Alliance youths and staged a demonstration against the recalling of their MPs from Parliament and the alleged misuse of funds for the Covid-19 pandemic by Government.

On the same day, they allegedly called their friends, family and lawyers, saying they had been arrested at a roadblock near Exhibition Park and were taken to Harare Central Police Station.

Upon receiving the communication, their lawyer Mr Jeremiah Bamu reportedly went to the police Criminal Investigation Department Law and Order section. Mr Bamu is alleged to have approached a senior officer, saying the accused had been arrested and taken to Harare Central Police Station.

According to the State, checks were made and it was established that they were not arrested. On the same day, social media platforms and local newspapers were awash with news that the three had been arrested, it is alleged.

Two days later, on May 15 at around 1am, Mr Bamu advised the police that the three were at Muchapondwa business centre in Bindura. The police and Mr Bamu went to the business centre, collected them and took them to a hospital in Waterfalls, Harare, since they claimed to have been tortured.

On May 19, Marova told a police detective that she was abducted and tortured by the police, with Mamombe and Chimbiri later interviewed on May 25, according to the State. It is said investigations by the police revealed that they were never abducted, but allegedly stage-managed the kidnapping.

Further accusations are that during the time of the alleged kidnapping, they were at Belgravia Shopping Centre in Harare. The State alleges that they were seen at around 4.45pm in a Mercedes Benz, which was being driven by Mamombe.

Source - the herald

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