Judge frees Tsvangirai staffers

HARARE - A High Court judge has described the incarceration of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s staffers as “illogical and inconsistent with common sense and reality”.

Justice Chinembiri Bhunu yesterday freed the four MDC officials on $500 bail, prompting unrestrained clapping and ululation from the court gallery.

The four are PM’s chief legal adviser, Thabani Mpofu, Felix Matsinde, Mehluli Tshuma and former Harare City councillor Warship Dumba.

They are accused of breaching the Official Secrets Act, possessing articles for criminal use and impersonating the police.

Mpofu faces two other separate charges of failing to secure a firearm and renew its licence.

The four were arrested during a police raid at Mpofu’s Harare home on March 17.

They approached the High Court after magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa denied them bail and remanded them in custody to April 3.

Bhunu said the magistrate gave truncated and scant reasons for denying the four bail.

“A casual perusal of the magistrate’s handling of both matters betrays scant regard to the guiding principles laid down by the Supreme Court and this Court,” he said.

“Had the magistrate looked at the judicial safeguards laid down in the leading cases, she would undoubtedly have realised the need to back-up her conclusions by cogent findings of fact.

This she did not do resulting in a serious misdirection and a travesty of justice.

“I am therefore of the firm view that granting the appellants bail with stringent conditions will meet the justice of this case,” said Bhunu. - Tendai Kamhungira

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.