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Index of articles on the mistreatment of the legal profession in Zimbabwe
appear in court
The Herald (Zimbabwe)
May 08, 2007
TWO Harare lawyers representing
MDC activists in the petrol-bombing cases yesterday appeared at
the Harare Magistrates' Courts for allegedly obstructing the
course of justice.
Alec Muchadehama (41)
and Andrew Makoni (36), both of Mbidzo Muchadehama and Makoni, were
not asked to plead to the charges when they were arraigned before
Harare magistrate Mr Robson Finsin.
Advocate Eric Matinenga,
who was being instructed by several other lawyers, represented the
They were remanded out
of custody to today on $500 000 bail each when they are expected
to apply for refusal of remand.
Prosecutor Mr Austin
Muzivi consented to the granting of bail to Makoni and Muchadehama,
saying the State had no grounds to oppose.
Charges against the two
arose on April 30 this year, when they drafted a notice of application
for bail pending trial on behalf of one of the six suspected petrol-bombers,
accused of damaging Zanu-PF offices in Mbare and attempting to kill
In the bail application,
it is alleged, Muchadehama and Makoni submitted falsehoods that
there was no bombing at the offices, but instead, the occupants
negligently burnt the properties with a kerosene lamp.
The State further alleges
that the lawyers lied that the State's key witness in a attempted
murder case, influenced one of the complainants to trump up charges
against the MDC activists.
It is also alleged that
the two lawyers added that the framing of charges and the deliberate
burning of the premises by the occupants, was a ploy of getting
free blankets from Zanu-PF Politburo member Cde Tendai Savanhu.
Adv Matinenga submitted
that the two were never assaulted but only that Muchadehama was
detained in cells that were declared inhuman.
He further submitted
that the police defied two orders by Justices Tedius Karwi and Alfas
Chitakunye over the weekend by continuously detaining them.
The court further heard
that the two had no case to answer and that they were arrested while
executing their duties as lawyers.
"These charges arose
from the conduct of the two in their professional capacities.
"That was a bail
application they settled for one Amos Musekiwa, which is still to
be determined tomorrow at the High Court.
"In that case, police
have interfered with the justice delivery system by arresting these
is simply no basis for the reasons set by the police in opposing
bail," said Adv Matinenga.
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