Latest News Editor's Choice

News / National

Joana Mamombe and Cecelia Revai Chimbiri not off the hook yet

by Staff reporter
05 Jul 2023 at 16:02hrs | Views
CCC lawmaker Joanna Mamombe, activists Netsai Marova and Cecelia Chimbiri during one of their many court appearances
While Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) lawmaker Joanna Mamombe and fellow party activist Cecilia Chimbiri were still busy celebrating their acquittal and freedom, the National Prosecuting Authority says it will appeal High Court Justice Priscilla Munangati-Manongwa's "defective" judgment which it says was "grossly misdirected" as it interfered with "unterminated proceedings" of the lower court.

Mamombe and Chimbiri were acquitted on charges of spreading false statements prejudicial to the state under the Criminal Law  (Codification Reform) Act after their bid for discharge at the end of proceedings was thwarted by the magistrate's court.

The charges emanated from their abduction and sexual abuse case after they had stated an anti-government protest in 2020.
"The State) will be appealing the decision of the High Court the case of Joana Mamombe and Cecelia Revai Chimbiri versus the Chief Magistrate F Mushure NO and the State," said a press statement.
"The State is of the considered view that the judgment is defective for want of compliance with the High Court Act (Chap 7:06) as well as precedent which provides that another judge must concur with the presiding Judge before the judgment is handed down.

"The State is also contending that the Judge grossly misdirected herself by interfering with the unterminated proceedings from the lower court as the termination of proceedings, in this case, was unjustified. Furthermore, the State is certain that another court presented with the same facts might come to a different conclusion," concluded the NPA.

The state accused the activists, who include the now exiled Netsai Marova, of publishing falsehoods.

The charges stem from a 2020 incident in which they claimed to have been seized from the hands of police officers in Harare by suspected state agents who drove them to a secluded place outside the capital to be subjected to horrendous acts of torture and sexual assault.

The three met their ordeal after they got arrested at a police roadblock after staging a flash anti-government demonstration in Harare's Warren Park suburb alongside other party activists.

After a public alarm was raised over their disappearance by friends and their party, they were later located in Bindura, some 70km outside Harare soiled and bruised.

The trio could hardly walk following the ordeal.

They would later spend some time in hospital nursing injuries before being dragged to court accused of lying about their abduction in order to soil the Zanu-PF led government's image.

But following an anguished three years of frequenting the courts, Mamombe and Chimbiri finally walked free, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) confirmed Tuesday.

Source - Byo24News