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High Court dismisses state challenge to staffers' bail
The Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
December 19, 2011

Bulawayo High Court dismisses State challenge to bail order granted to MMPZ Advocacy Officers Fadzai December and Molly Chimhanda, and PIRF Gwanda Chairman, Glibert Mabusa

On Friday, December 16th, Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nicholas Mathonsi dismissed the state's appeal against the bail order granted by Gwanda magistrate Mr Douglas Zvenyika to MMPZ's advocacy officers Fadzai December, Molly Chimhanda and its Gwanda Public Information Rights Forum chairman, Gilbert Mabusa.

Warrants of liberation were issued by the High Court and delivered later that day to Gwanda prison where the three staffers were being held. With the assistance of lawyers Kossam Ncube and Lison Ncube, the three were released in the late afternoon of the same day and were reunited with their families.

MMPZ is delighted that justice has finally been seen to be done, but believes the three were the victims of abuse with regard to their extended detention under the invocation of Section 121 by the state.

We will provide our subscribers with details of the judge's ruling when it becomes available.

In the meantime, Fadzai, Molly and Gilbert were remanded to January 5th for the next trial date. Gwanda magistrate Mr Douglas Zvenyika had granted $50 bail to the MMPZ officials with no reporting restrictions. This followed their arrest and detention by Gwanda police on Monday, December 5th on charges of contravening some provisions of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

The state invoked Section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act (CPEA), which effectively suspends the magistrate's order for seven days to allow the state to file an appeal against the order in the High Court.

That appeal was dismissed by the High Court last Friday, and we are happy that the three will be able to enjoy their Christmas and New Year holidays with their families.

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