Chivero boat men apply for bail

HARARE - Three men jailed for five years  each for failing to avert the death of 11 children at Lake Chivero last Christmas have applied for bail pending appeal.

The men are Enock Yolani Zulu, Fadil Ramon Weale and Joseph Abrahams.

Harare magistrate Tendai Mahwe last week jailed the trio for five years after convicting them on 11 counts of culpable homicide.

Prosecutor Michael Reza filed papers appealing against the sentence, arguing that it was too lenient.
The men’s lawyers have also since appealed in the High Court against Mahwe’s sentence, arguing that five years was “severe” and induces a sense of “shock”.

“Due to the strong prospects of success on appeal, the administration of justice will not be prejudiced as the appellants did not have command or charge of the vessel.

‘‘Applicants are good candidates of bail and they have faithfully adhered to their bail conditions (before conviction) and have never defaulted,” said the men in their application.

The trio said that the court erred in failing to “take into account the moral and legal blameworthiness of the deceased children’s guardians in assessing sentence”.

They further said the court failed to appreciate that community service was an appropriate sentence for the charges.

Prosecutor Reza is expected to respond on the application next Monday and magistrate Mahwe will give his ruling on Tuesday.

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