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Facebook user granted bail after quashing of Magistrate's ruling
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)

March 31, 2011

High Court Judge Justice Nicholas Ndou on Thursday 31 March 2011 quashed Magistrate Gideon Ruwetsa's ruling denying bail to Bulawayo resident Vikas Mavhudzi, who is charged with subverting a government by unconstitutional means.

Justice Ndou's setting aside of Magistrate Ruwetsa's ruling came after Mavhudzi's lawyers Lizwe Jamela and Nosimilo Chanayiwa of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) appealed to the High Court challenging Magistrate Ruwetsa's decision to deny Mavhudzi bail. In their application, the ZLHR lawyers argued that Magistrate Ruwetsa erred and misdirected himself when he denied bail to Mavhudzi.

Magistrate Ruwetsa had on Wednesday 16 March 2011 denied bail to the 39 year-old Magwegwe resident, who is facing charges of subverting a government by unconstitutional means over a comment he allegedly made on Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's facebook page. In dismissing Mavhudzi's bail application, Magistrate Ruwetsa said he based his decision on public security and "what happened in Egypt is a reality".

Mavhudzi was arrested in Bulawayo last month for reportedly expressing his approval of the protests in Egypt that led to the resignation of Hosni Mubarak as president.

According to the State, on 24 February 2011, Mavhudzi "unlawfully or suggested" to Prime Minister Tsvangirai "the taking over or taking over or attempt to take over the Government by unconstitutional means or usurping the functions of the Government, that is to say he sent an e-mail to Morgan Tsvangirai saying: 'I am overwhelmed, I don't want to say Mr. or PM what happened in Egypt is sending shockwaves to dictators around the world. No weapon but unity of purpose worth emulating, hey'."

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