Thursday, 8 April 2021

JUDGE FREES ARMED ROBBER

HIGH Court judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi has released on bail a suspected armed robber, Brian Mubaiwa, accused of robbing a Chinese national of gold worth US$50 000.

Justice Chitapi granted Mubaiwa $10 000 bail after noting that the State did not have a strong case against the 47-year-old.

Mubaiwa, together with his co-accused Gift Moffat, had been remanded in custody by the Harare Magistrates’ Courts on February 8.  This was after they were arrested for allegedly storming Zhang Guanghui’s home on February 2.

The duo, who were part of a five-member gang that was allegedly armed with two pistons and a pair of catapults, jumped over the precast wall surrounding the house and manhandled Zhang and five other occupants.

The gang reportedly tied Zhang up with cables and assaulted him before escaping with 600 grammes of gold as well as valuables worth US$50 000.

In delivering his judgment, Justice Chitapi said the prosecution had failed to present an open and shut case to convince him to deny Mubaiwa bail.

“In weighing the interest of justice against the right of the applicant to his personal freedom, I am inclined in favour of granting bail. 

“I do appreciate that the offence is serious. However, the circumstances of each case will determine how the seriousness of the offence is likely to impact on the risk of the applicant absconding.

“The State case is not open and shut, if one considers the allegations made and the evidence said to be available, a conviction is not given. 

“The interest of justice will be served if bail is granted and the ensuing order is made. The applicant is granted bail. He shall deposit $10 000 with the Clerk of Court at the Harare, Magistrates’ Courts,” Justice Chitapi ruled.

He also noted that the fear expressed by the prosecution that Mubaiwa would flee from justice was unnecessary as he had proven to be of fixed abode.

“The applicant does not possess any travelling documents. He is just a peasant farmer with no assets which can sustain him were he to be minded to flee the jurisdiction of the court. 

“He offered to report at Guruve Police Station as a check mechanism to ensure his continued availability,” Justice Chitapi added.   Daily News

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