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Suspected protesters refuse prison food, 'demand' Nandos

by Fungai Lupande
01 Sep 2016 at 06:37hrs | Views
SIXTY-EIGHT suspected protesters, including a journalist, James Jemwa, refused to eat food supplied to them by the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services demanding "Nandos" instead, the court heard yesterday.

This came up during an application for bail by the suspects' lawyer Mr Trust Maanda.The prosecutor Mr Michael Reza said he checked with ZPCS and was advised that people who bring food for inmates should taste it first as a security measure.

"This is why they were not allowing people to bring food for the prisoners. All prisoners are given food before they come to court," said Mr Reza.

"Lunch is also brought for them but yesterday (Tuesday) some of the accused refused the food saying they prefer a certain type of food. The type of food they want I do not think ZPCS can afford it and not many people have that type of food for lunch."

The magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe inquired what type of food it was and Mr Reza said it was Nandos, to the amusement of the gallery. Mr Mahwe ordered that all the accused be fed during lunch hour.

Proceeding with the bail application, the investigation officer Raphael Chakama opposed the granting of freedom to the suspects. He said they would interfere with witnesses.

Mr Harrison Nkomo, who is representing Jemwa, demanded to know the witnesses.

"We have about 70 witnesses including police officers and civilians. I need about eight weeks to bring the list," said Chakama.

"You want to bring the list at your convenience while the accused languishes in remand prison?" asked Mr Nkomo.

"Jemwa was arrested while on duty, what more offences will he commit if he is released on bail?"

In response, Chakama said Jemwa was among the group arrested for public violence.

"It is possible he will commit the offence of public violence he was arrested for," he said.

Mr Maanda said all the suspects were arrested while conducting their lawful business.

He also asked Chakama if he was aware that the gathering was authorised by the High Court.

Chakama said he was not aware prompting Mr Maanda to produce the court order.

"The applicants were to march from the open space into Robert Mugabe and the police were ordered not to disrupt, but provide protection," said Mr Maanda.

"Were the police ordered to march together with the people?" asked Mr Maanda.

"I do not know this letter was addressed to the Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri," said Chakama.

The case continues today.

It is alleged that on August 26, the suspects gathered at an open space between Rainbow Towers and Interpol offices. They allegedly conspired to proceed into town and caused sporadic public violence.

Source - the herald