Tuesday, 30 January 2018

CHIPANGA BACK IN COURT

Fired Zanu-PF youth leader Kudzanayi Chipanga, who is facing charges of making statements undermining public confidence in the military, yesterday applied for relaxation of his bail conditions.

Chipanga was released by the High Court on $500 bail coupled with stringent conditions. He was ordered to report twice a day at Borrowdale Police Station and to reside at his given address until the matter is finalised.

Chipanga was ordered required to surrender travel documents and not to interfere with State witnesses. Chipanga, who is represented by Professor Lovemore Madhuku, wants the court to reduce the reporting conditions to once a week.
“The applicant has complied with the current stringent conditions and therefore there can be no doubt that even without any bail conditions, he will attend trial whatever the nature of the charges are,” said Prof Madhuku.

In his application, Prof Madhuku said there were changed circumstances which constituted the application.

“The charges are based on a political speech and the State indicated at the initial remand that it would complete investigations in two weeks and there is no indication that the State needs more time for investigation and there is virtually nothing more to investigate.

“The Supreme court emphasised that the failure of the State to complete it’s investigations and strengthen its case is a fresh fact within the contemplation of Section 126(1)(ii). The political dispensation is now clear, the persons criticised are now the leaders of the country and it is unlikely that the charge will be pursued.”

Magistrate Mrs Rumbidzai Mugwagwa rolled over the matter to today for the State’s response and ruling. Chipanga is facing charges of publishing or communicating false statements prejudicial to the State as defined in Section 31 (a) (iii) of the Criminal (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9.23, or alternatively causing disaffection among the police force or defence forces as defined in Section 30 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
The charges arose from a press conference on November 14, 2017, where he accused then Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Constantino Chiwenga of stealing money realised from diamond mining in Marange. Herald

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