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Mwonzora, villagers languish in prison after judge postpones AG's appeal against bail order
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)

March 07, 2011

Nyanga North Member of Parliament and Constitution Select Committee (COPAC) co-chairperson Hon. Douglas Mwonzora and 23 villagers will endure more time detained at Mutare Remand Prison after High Court Judge Justice Susan Mavangira on Monday 7 March 2011 postponed the hearing of an appeal filed by the State challenging a bail order granted to the legislator and the villagers to Wednesday 9 March 2011.

Justice Mavangira deferred the hearing to Wednesday 9 March 2011 after she noted that the record of proceedings was incomplete as some pages were missing.

Justice Mavangira said some pages in the record of proceedings were photocopied badly while Magistrate Ignatio Mhene's handwriting was difficult to read.

Defence lawyers took the extraordinary task of collecting the record of proceedings from Nyanga Magistrates Court to try and transcribe it for use during the hearing of the appeal on Wednesday.

In the meantime Hon. Mwonzora and the villagers will remain incarcerated at Mutare Remand Prison until Wednesday when the High Court will consider an appeal against their bail order which was filed on Friday 25 February 2011 by the Attorney General's Office.

Hon. Mwonzora and the 23 villagers who were arrested three weeks ago and charged with violating section 36(1)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for public violence were granted bail by Magistrate Mhene on Monday 21 February 2011.

But Magistrate Mhene's bail order was vetoed after State prosecutor, Tirivanhu Mutyasiri invoked the notorious Section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act (CPEA) to suspend the bail order which had been granted to Hon. Mwonzora and the villagers.

Edmore Nyazamba, a law officer in the AG's Office filed the appeal.

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