Protesters spend 6th night in jail, as govt intensifies crackdown


Harare – THE 68 Harare protestors arrested on charges of public violence spent their sixth night in remand prison Thursday after as their bail application drags on.

The bail hearing is expected to continue Friday with defence lawyers told to submit, in writing, the personal circumstances of each of the suspects.

During Thursday’s hearing, the investigating officer Raphel Chakama told court that he was not on duty on the day of the protest and, as such, could not give any comments.

Under cross examination with one of the lawyers, Walter Chivore, Chakama also said he had no evidence linking the accused to the offence.

“I was not on duty when the accused were arrested, I was resting at home.

“My colleagues, the arresting details have the information with regards to circumstances surrounding the demonstrations and the arrest of the suspects,” he said.

Lawyers representing the suspects include Harrison Nkomo, Musindo Hungwe, Trust Maanda, Obey Shava, Walter Chivore, Ashiel Mugiya and Jeremiah Bamu.

Prosecutor Michale Reza angered the defence attorneys by failing to turn up and sending a subordinate to represent him.

The aide sought to have the case deferred by the defence lawyers objected.

“The prosecutor must not be allowed to disregard an order, he asked that the case be adjourned to 11:15am today (Thursday) but he was nowhere to be found.

“He must not be rewarded an opportunity to adjourn the case to his desired time. I apply that he be called now or we proceed without him,” said Nkomo.

Magistrate Tendai Mahwe ruled in favour of the defence, saying Reza’s conduct was contemptuous of the court.

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