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  • Judge grants bail to four tormented residents charged with cop murder
    Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)

    July 08, 2011

    High Court Judge Justice Felistas Chatukuta on Friday 8 July 2011 granted bail to Oddrey Sydney Chirombe, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) councillor for Harare City Council and three other party members who had languished in remand prison since their arrest last month for allegedly murdering a police officer, Inspector Petros Mutedza.

    Chirombe, Jepheas Moyo, the MDC regalia shop manager, Abina Rutsito, who is employed in the MDC security department and Tendai Maxwell Chinyama, the MDC Kambuzuma District Organising Secretary were arrested last month and charged with committing the crime of murder as defined in Section 47 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.

    Justice Chatukuta freed Chirombe, Moyo, Rutsito and Chinyama after their lawyers applied for their release on bail pending trial.

    In their bail application, which was opposed by Edmore Nyazamba, a law officer in the Attorney General's Officer, the lawyers, Tawanda Zhuwarara and Jeremiah Bamu of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) argued that their clients were victims of "profiling", a practice that has been directly outlawed in certain jurisdictions and has been frowned upon by implication in Zimbabwean courts.

    The lawyers argued that though on surface the allegations of murdering a police officer seem serious and grave, a closer inspection reveals that the charges are tenuous, improbable and incoherent.

    Justice Chatukuta ordered Chirombe, Moyo, Rutsito to pay bail of $100 each and to continue residing at their given residential addresses and not to interfere with State witnesses. Chinyama was asked to deposit $300 and to report three times a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday to Marimba Police Station and to continue residing at his given residential address and not to interfere with State witnesses.

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