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Crisis Coalition Chair denied bail
in Zimbabwe Coalition (SA Regional Office)
January 16, 2013
The Crisis Coalition
Chairperson and Zimrights
director, Okay Machisa, was remanded in custody this afternoon to
the 30th of January 2013. A Harare magistrate denied him bail on
the basis of three flimsy reasons:
1 )That the
case is a matter of national interest since the nature of the alleged
offence is meant to discredit national institutions (that is the
Registrar General's office)
2) That the
investigations are complex hence the state needs more time to carry
out a thorough investigation throughout all the Zimrights branches
across the country
3) That the
co-accused (Leo Chamawhinya) is remanded
in custody hence no basis to remand Machisa out of custody.
The magistrate said that
the public will lose confidence in the justice system if Machisa
is granted bail since it is a high profile case of national interest.
The magistrate did not refer to legal arguments to the contrary
submitted by Machisa's lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa in what appeared
like a clearly motivated political judgment.
of Machisa shows that the state has no respect for the presumption
of innocence principle. We condemn this calculated assault on activists
meant to cow civil society organizations that are fighting for democratic
reforms before the next watershed election. We reiterate our position
that the political environment in Zimbabwe is not yet conducive
for a free and fair election.
We appeal for solidarity
action, regional and international pressure on the Zimbabwe state
to respect the rule of law. Such action is important to mitigate
against a possible surge in the harassment and detention of activists
especially as we head toward the general election.
Visit the Crisis
in Zimbabwe fact
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