Tuesday, 9 June 2020

MDC TRIO ORDERED TO SURRENDER PASSPORTS


THREE MDC-Alliance members — Joana Mamombe, Cecilia Marava and Netsai Chimbira — who are at the centre of an alleged abduction case, were yesterday ordered to surrender passports as part of their bail conditions after the State alleged that they are mobilising resources to escape from the jurisdiction of the court.

Prosecutor Netsai Mushayabasa applied for the three to surrender their passports after having been initially freed on $1 000 bail each, coupled with other conditions.

She told the court that the trio had been released from a private hospital in Waterfalls, Harare, where they were receiving treatment after the alleged abduction.

Mamombe, Marava and Chimbira are being charged with participating in a gathering with intent to promote public violence and breach of peace or bigotry.

In cementing her claims, Mushayabasa called the investigating officer in the matter, Mr Hardwork Mazite, to testify in court.

Although he could not reveal who was working with Mamombe, Marava and Chimbira in mobilising resources for their escape, he said he received the wind on June 2, this year.
“On June 2, I received information that accused persons’ intent to abscond from the jurisdiction of the court and resources were being mobilised for them to escape.

“They intend to travel outside the country to evade trial. They have since been discharged from hospital,” he said.

The trio’s lawyer Mr Jeremiah Bamu refuted the claims, saying the police should have charged Mamombe, Marava and Chimbira for such acts.

“One of police mandate is to prevent crime from being committed. They should make arrests and not wait for time. I have instruction that should they be wanted for any other offences they are ready to avail themselves to the police, even today.

“It is not necessary to add this condition (surrendering their passports) since we are in a period of lockdown where one is not able to travel,” he said. 

Mr Bamu argued that there is no country at the moment, which is allowing non-citizens beyond its borders.

He said there were other effective ways of making sure that the trio attends court.

“There are other ways of making sure that they attend court which are more effective than surrendering passports.

“They can be ordered that they travel less than 40km out of Harare and report more times to police.

“These are very effective ways. Accused are assisting police with investigations in respect of kidnapping. This morning (yesterday) they were asked for identification parade and further indications. Given level of cooperation, it can hardly be said they want to evade trial,” he said.

Magistrate Guriro in her ruling, ordered the trio to surrender their passports before end of business today. She said Mamombe, Marava and Chimbira failed to prove to the court that they were not mobilising resources to escape.

Mamombe, Marava and Chimbira are expected to be back in court on August 13, 2020 for their routine remand. Herald

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