Wednesday, 7 September 2016

COURT VICTORY FOR WAR VETS LEADERS

Five Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) executive members accused of denigrating President Mugabe had their bail conditions relaxed from reporting to the police twice a week to once a fortnight.

The group applied to have the reporting conditions relaxed citing exorbitant expenses to travel from Gokwe, Chiredzi and Lupane where they stay.Harare magistrate Mr Bianca Makwande granted the application saying there was need to strike a balance between the court’s and accused’s interest. She ordered Douglas Mahiya, Francis Nhando, Victor Matemadanda, Headman Moyo and Hoyini Samuel Bhila to report once a fortnight on Fridays at their nearest police stations.

The five, who are facing charges of undermining the authority of the President, challenged their being on remand.

In their application challenging remand, the five said the communiqué they are accused of authoring falls within the realm of political rights enjoyed in terms of Section 67 (2)(d) of the Constitution.

They said the person mentioned in the communiqué has not challenged the contents there-off.

“This communiqué, which was not authored by the accused, is merely a challenge by the authors to the governance of the country,” they said.

“The authors complained of the perceived erosion of the values of the liberation struggle, the neglect of the masses who are suffering and the persecution, decimation and expulsion of war veterans.

“They sign off by withdrawing their support for ‘a leader who has presided over untold suffering of the general population . . .’”

The prosecutor Mr Tapiwa Kasema alleged that between April 2016 and July 2016 Mahiya, Nhando, Matemadanda, Moyo and Bhila acting in connivance with other high ranking national, provincial and district members still at large authored a document captioned “War Veterans communiqué on the state of Zimbabwe’s economy, the ZANU PF party leadership and the way forward for the people of Zimbabwe” in which they allegedly made defamatory statements thereby undermining the authority of President Mugabe.

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