Prosecution yesterday opposed bail for 104 people from Epworth and Mabvuku in Harare linked to Monday’s public violence, saying they are all flight risks.
Prosecutor Mrs Molyn Mutamangira-Mavhondo told the court that the group posed danger to law enforcement agents and could incite other people into violence if freed on bail.
“They threw stones at police officers and some of them were injured. The accused are a flight risk because they ran away from the police as they tried to arrest them,” she said.
Lawyer Mr Trust Manda insisted that all the accused are proper candidates for bail.
“All the accused except the four minors are men of dependency and most of them are not employed,” he said.
While cross-examining the investigating officer Joyce Murawa, Mr Manda asked her if damages to the police vehicle in Ruwa was worth $500 000.
“All I know is that it was damaged, I don’t know how they arrived at the figure,” replied Murawa.
Mr Manda also took her to task after she said she was told by the arresting officers that the accused were arrested at the scenes of the crime.
“I put it to you that Patrick Kadzere was arrested while asleep in his house after spending the night at work,” said Mr Manda.
Murawa said she was not aware of the two being arrested at their homes and when Mr Manda said they had no previous convictions, she replied: “Their fingerprints were sent for verification and we await results.”
Magistrate Mr Vakayi Chikwekwe adjourned the matter to today for ruling. Shaun Bako and 50 others from Ruwa are facing public violence charges after allegedly destroying property worth $500 000. Mrs Mavhondo alleged that on July 4, police received a tip-off that protesters from the Greater Harare Association for Commuter Omnibus Operators were demonstrating in Ruwa.
Police proceeded to the scene and saw the accused ferrying huge boulders using three vehicles. They were allegedly barricading Mutare Highway using huge stones and carrying placards written: “Usapinde mukombi kusvikira mapurisa abva muroad” and “Hatineti kusvikira President abva.”
The police identified the accused who were stoning motorists and stopping commuter omnibuses before harassing passengers. The mob allegedly stoned the police and damaged their vehicle. The accused were later rounded up and arrested.
It is also alleged that Tichaona Chikonya and 53 others from Epworth barricaded Chiremba Road at Chans shops. They also attacked the police and damaged property worth $1 000. herald