High Court hears fresh bail appeal by Mamombe, Chimbiri

Mamombe and Chimbiri

HARARE – A High Court judge will on Wednesday hear a fresh bail application by Harare West MP Joana Mamombe and fellow opposition MDC Alliance activist Cecilia Chimbiri.

The two have been locked up at Chikurubi Maximum Prison for 53 days after being denied bail three times by both the High Court and the Magistrates Court saying they were prone to re-offend.

Mamombe and Chimbiri were arrested on March 5 and charged with breaching Covid-19 regulations after addressing a news conference calling for the release of pro-democracy campaigner Makomborero Haruzivishe, who is serving a 14 months’ prison sentence for “resisting arrest and inciting public violence.”

“The hearing of their bail appeal on Wednesday will be the fourth time that they have sought to be released from prison pending the commencement of their trial,” said the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), whose attorneys represent the duo.

The two have several other pending cases.

Mamombe was forcibly removed from a private hospital in the dead of the night last Thursday where she was receiving treatment for “acute stomach pain” and returned to Chikurubi Maximum Prison even as she was still receiving treatment.

MDC Alliance youth leader Obey Sithole, meanwhile, will also appear before a magistrate Wednesday following his arrest on charges of criminal nuisance on Monday.

The ZLHR said while his appearance was initially scheduled for Tuesday, “cops then decided to take Sithole back to Harare Central Police Station saying they had received instructions from their bosses who advised that it is too early to take him to court.”

Prosecutors say Sithole took part in an unsanctioned protest on April 1, 2021, and sang a song saying “haikona kutamba neropa revakomana (don’t play with the blood of the youth)” while carrying a placard with the inscription, “Free Mako, Free Joana, Ziyambi Must Go.”

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