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State invokes Section 121 of the CPEA to veto Bindura man's
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
July 06, 2011
for Human Rights (ZLHR) condemns the spiteful and groundless actions
of the State in vetoing a bail order granted in favour of Bindura
resident Oliver Mukombwe, who is accused of undermining police authority.
Movement for Democratic Change treasurer for Bindura district, who
is accused of contravening Section 177 (a) (1) of the Criminal
Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 was granted $20
bail by Bindura Magistrate Charles Murove when he appeared in court
on Wednesday 6 July 2011.
Kuwanda, a police prosecutor, invoked the notorious Section 121
of the Criminal
Evidence and Procedure Act (CPEA) to suspend the bail order
which had been granted to Mukombwe.
that Mukombwe undermined the authority of the police when he made
a statement in a public place on 2 July 2011 along Church road in
Chipadze Township, Bindura, Mashonaland Central province directed
at Nemiah Caleb Muzinda, a police constable stating that; "Makajaidzwa
naMugabe. Munofunga kuti chipurisa chinoshamisa here? Zvenyu zvokupinda
nechiZANU PF hazvina basa saka ini ndinoda kukuuraya", which
the prosecutor translated to mean "You have been spoiled by
Mugabe. You think the police work is special? Your joining of the
force through ZANU PF partisanship is useless, so I want to kill
the State is also charging Mukombwe, who is represented by Belinda
Chinowawa of ZLHR with contravening Section 89 of the Criminal Law
(Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.
invocation of Section 121 of the CPEA suspends the bail order for
seven days pending the filing of an appeal by the State in the High
ZLHR is perturbed
by the malicious and obdurate actions of the State in continuing
to unnecessarily infringe upon the fundamental right to liberty
of accused persons by bringing up Section 121 of the CPEA. This
is despite the fact that the constitutionality of Section 121 of
the CPEA is being challenged in numerous cases which are yet to
be heard by the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe.
ZLHR is concerned
at the frequent abuse of this draconian piece of legislation, which
is used to the prejudice of suspects as prosecutors are clearly
usurping the powers of the judiciary who in this case had safeguarded
the fundamental right to liberty of Mukombwe.
We remain concerned
about the increased number of cases in which Section 121 of the
CPEA has been arbitrarily and unjustifiably invoked, particularly
against members of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and
other genuine human rights defenders in Zimbabwe.
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