Saturday, 29 August 2020


Hopewell Chin’ono and Jacob Ngarivhume who are facing charges of inciting the public to commit public violence when they called for protests on July 31, will have to wait a little longer before the High Court makes a determination of their appeals for bail next week.

The duo yesterday appeared before two different judges in their fourth bail bid each, after Harare Magistrate Mr Ngoni Nduna earlier rejected their applications for bail on the grounds of changed circumstances.

Chin’ono appeared before Justice Tawanda Chitapi who reserved his ruling to Wednesday next week, to allow him time to study the submissions made by both the defence and State counsel.

Ngarivhume who conscripted Constitutional lawyer Professor Lovemore Madhuku to his defence, appeared before another judge Justice Siyabona Msithu, who after hearing arguments from both parties’ lawyers again deferred the matter to next week for judgment. 

The duo has been in custody since their arrest last month on charges of inciting people to participate in the anti-Government protests planned that had been planned for July 31, which flopped.

Chin’ono’s lawyer, Mr Kudzai Mtisi said the issues which were of interest at yesterday’s appeal were to do with evidence in the record of proceedings in the lower court and the magistrate decision which he said was grossly irregular.

“The State even conceded that the magistrate did not make mention of that oral evidence in its findings,” he said briefing journalists outside the High Court.

For Ngarivhume, Prof Madhuku made his submission on why the defence felt the lower court decision should be quashed. 

Justice Msithu said he would deliver his ruling either on Monday or Tuesday. Where a suspect applies for bail in the magistrates’ court and the application is refused, he is only entitled to a single appeal against this decision to the High Court.

However, the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act does not allow the right of an accused concerned who had appealed to a judge of the High Court against the bail decision of a magistrate to take the judge’s decision, subject to leave, on appeal to a judge of the Supreme Court.

The suspect has to rely on changed circumstances as the basis to re-apply for bail in the lower court.

Charges against the duo arose after they allegedly schemed against the Government, calling for mass demonstrations by any means on July 31. Herald


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