High Court Judge Justice Benjamin Chikowero has granted Z$40 000 bail to suspended Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume.
Mafume was arrested after allegedly violating his bail conditions in a matter he is accused of abusing his office to award residential stands to his sister and a colleague.
As bail conditions, Chikowero ordered him to deposit Z$ 40, 000, report to police every Friday, reside at his given address and not to interfere with witnesses.
Commenting on the development, human rights lawyer Douglas Coltart condemned the incarceration of Mafume for more than four weeks while his health was deteriorating.
“Thankful that Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume has finally been granted bail by the High Court. However, it doesn’t change the fact that his incarceration since 14 December 2020 in deplorable conditions as his health deteriorated was a shocking violation of his rights,” he said.
The MDC Alliance official fell sick in remand prison and suffered from fever, chest pains and a headache in a suspected case of Covid-19. His lawyer Tonderai Bhatasara said Mafume received little medical attention endangering his life.
Meanwhile, Harare regional magistrate Trynos Utahwashe is expected to hand down a bail ruling in the case of MDC Alliance national spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere who is jointly charged with journalist Hopewell Chin’ono and opposition vice chairman Job Sikhala.
The trio is charged with allegations of communicating falsehoods that a Harare based police officer reportedly killed a baby while attempting to beat the child’s mother with a button stick.
Their lawyers told the court however, that the law that they are being charged with, section Section 31 (a)(iii) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) was struck off the constitution in 2014.
Chin’ono has since been denied bail by magistrate Ngoni Nduna who argued that the award-winning investigative journalist had a propensity of committing crimes.