Harare- Zimbabwe opposition MDC Alliance Harare West legislator Joana Mamombe Cecelia Chimbiri have been denied bail by Harare Magistrate Stanford Mambanje.
Magistrate Mambanje remanded the two in custody to February 18 2021.
Defence lawyer Charles Kwaramba of the Zimbabwe lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said they will lodge an application against the ruling at the High Court.
“Bail was refused on the basis that there is little reason to trust the duo that they will not commit offences while on bail. We don’t agree with the decision and we will contest it and obviously we will appeal against the refusal to grant bail
“We don’t believe that those issues were considered, what was considered was just one, whether their conduct shows the disposition to commit offences. We are saying it can’t because they are innocent until proven guilty. Whatever charges they faced before they are still to face trial. We still believe that the presumption of innocence must take precedence at the moment,” said Kwaramba
MDC Alliance Vice President Tendai Biti took to twitter condemning the ruling saying it is pathetic.
“Absolutely ridiculous. The weaponization of bail proceedings must stop. Perceptions of judicial capture undermine judiciary itself. Emmerson has taken Zim to new depths of rights abuses. These women are innocent. The crime they are accused of does not even merit jail #Pathetic” said Biti
MDC Alliance national deputy spokesperson Clifford Hlatswayo accused the ruling Zanu PF of harassing innocent citizens.
“It is clear that Zanu PF is in panic mode. Zanu PF fears the people, there is no doubt that Zanu is at its latter stages of decomposition. They are harassing innocent people to make matters worse they are young women. The matter they are being accused is a simple matter that can be dealt with at a police station. This is a clear testimony that its victimisation to the people of Zimbabwe to any dissenting voice.
“This is a warfare, obviously our lawyers are going to approach the High Court. It must be proved in a court of law, you must give someone an opportunity to prove themselves. The magistrate said where the matter was committed no one knows. This is political persecution.” he added.
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