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Mtetwa, PM employees denied bail, condemned to languish prison
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)

March 20, 2013

Harare Provincial Magistrate, Marehwanazvo Gofa on Wednesday 20 March 2013 condemned prominent human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa to languish in prison after she dismissed her bail application together with that of four of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s aides.

Magistrate Gofa remanded Mtetwa in custody to 3 April 2013 after dismissing her bail application. The Magistrate ruled that the human rights lawyer would interfere with police investigations if freed on bail.

Mtetwa’s lawyer, Advocate Thabani Mpofu had filed an application on Tuesday 19 March 2013 seeking the admission of Mtetwa to bail of $100. The lawyer had also offered to surrender some title deeds to one of Mtetwa’s immovable property as security after stressing that her client was a suitable candidate for bail as she had not committed an offence and had no criminal record to induce her to abscond from attending court proceedings.

However, Magistrate Gofa dismissed the application which was opposed by State prosecutors Michael Reza and Michael Mugabe. The Magistrate also dismissed the bail application filed by four officials working in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Office among them Thabani Mpofu, Felix Matsinde, Councillor Warship Dumba and Mehluli Tshuma, who were charged with contravening Section 4 of Official Secrets Act for allegedly receiving or communicating secret information, Section 179 (1) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) for alleged impersonation and Section 40 (1) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for possession of articles for criminal use. The four aides were remanded to 3 April 2013.

Magistrate Gofa also dismissed Mpofu’s application for bail on the charges of contravening Section 4 (1) of the Firearms Act for allegedly failing to renew a firearm certificate and Section 28 (2) of the Firearms Act for allegedly keeping a firearm in a non-secure place and remanded him in custody to 27 March 2013.

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