Mliswa free on bail

HARARE - High Court judge Joseph Musakwa has freed businessman Temba Mliswa on $100 bail.

Mliswa is alleged to have masterminded the assault of Zanu PF Hurungwe East legislator Sarah Mahoka at Zimonja Business Centre in Zvipani, Hurungwe in what has been viewed as intra-party clashes ahead of internal primary elections.

His alleged accomplices are Goodwell Zinyama, 49, Simbarashe Mamina, 30, Christopher Munakira, 35, Munyaradzi Mutami, 33, Judge Makwava, 34, January Mapfundematsva, 37 and Matilda Makwanya, 33. They were all released on $50 bail.

Musakwa yesterday said there was no evidence from the police investigating officer linking the group to the offence.

“There are no cogent facts linking the appellants (accused) to the commission of the offence. In respect of the first appellant (Mliswa), no evidence was proffered placing him at the crime scene,” said Musakwa.

He said Chinhoyi magistrate Felix Mawadze, who denied the group bail two weeks ago arguing that their release could trigger unrest, misdirected himself.

“When the court makes such a decision, it should not speculate,” said Musakwa, querying how Mawadze reached his conclusion.

Mliswa’s attempt to have the matter referred to Harare was scuttled after Mawadze dismissed the application.

His lawyers Musindo Hungwe and Ray Tsvakwi of Kadzere, Hungwe and Mandevere Law Firm had argued Mliswa would not get a fair trial in Chinhoyi citing political interference.

Mawadze dismissed the application on the basis that it would set a wrong precedent that all political cases can be moved to a different jurisdiction.

The allegations arose after intra-party political violence that rocked Hurungwe when a group of 13 youths allegedly attacked Mahoka and her entourage.

The youths reportedly accused Mahoka of propping up Dorcas Bere to represent the party as MP ahead of Mliswa, who is also eyeing the seat.

Mahoka is also the Zanu PF Women’s League provincial chairperson for Mashonaland West. - Tendai Kamhungira

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