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  • Index of articles on the mistreatment of the legal profession in Zimbabwe

  • Lawyers 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 two.

    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 the occupants.

    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 accused persons.

    "There is simply no basis for the reasons set by the police in opposing bail," said Adv Matinenga.

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