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High Court judge ends detention of ZimRights Director by freeing him on bail
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)

January 29, 2013

High Court Judge Justice Felistas Chatukuta on Tuesday 29 January 2013 ended two weeks of agony for ZimRights Director Okay Machisa after granting him bail.

Justice Chatukuta granted bail to Machisa after ruling that Harare Magistrate Tendai Mahwe had erred and misdirected himself when he dismissed his bail application filed in the lower court on 15 January 2013.

The Judge made the determination after she heard submissions on Monday 28 January 2013 from Machisa's lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa and the State, which opposed bail.

Justice Chatukuta ordered Machisa to pay $500 bail, surrender his passport, report once every week on Fridays at Harare Central Police Station and to continue residing at his given residential address. The Judge also ordered Machisa to surrender title deeds to an immovable property worth more than $50 000 as security.

Machisa will be back in court at Harare Magistrates Court on Wednesday 30 January 2013 for routine remand.

Machisa was arrested on Monday 14 January 2013 and charged with contravening Section 31, 136 and 137 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly attempting to defraud the Registrar General's Office by forging and manufacturing counterfeit copies of certificates of voter registration.

His arrest followed the apprehension of Leo Chamwahwinya, the ZimRights Education Programmes Manager, who was arrested on 13 December 2012 together with Dorcas Shereni, the ZimRights Highfields Local Chapter Chairperson and Farai Bhani and Tatenda Chinaka, whom he charged are not connected to the grassroots human rights organisation.

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