Vapositori bail ruling today

HARARE - The High Court will today rule on a bail application by 24 members of the Madzibaba Ishamea Mufani’s Johanne Masowe Church, who are facing charges of assaulting police officers and journalists in Budiriro.

The accused, through their lawyer Obey Shava, on Friday approached the High Court, arguing that Harare magistrate Vakayi Chikwekwe erred when he ruled that their release on bail would cause public outcry.

“In any event, a court may not deny bail merely because the release of the appellants will cause public outcry,” reads their High Court appeal.

“The learned magistrate also failed to take into account relevant considerations. The appellant were all of fixed aboard. The state did not entertain any fears that the release of the appellants would prejudice justice, or endanger public safety.

“The State did not hesitate to consent to their release on bail. These were important considerations the court should have considered given that bail is an entitlement unless they are compelling reasons justifying the appellants’ continued detention, and there were none.”

Justice Esther Muremba deferred the bail hearing to tomorrow to give the State time to file its response.

The 24 are Emmanuel Sigauke, 37, Laston Marandure, 23, John Murahwa, 36, Taurayi Supiya, 36, Shadreck Mashonganyika, 25, Robert Paradzayi, 35, Tafa Chakwara, 36, Kudzanai Tichaona Kusekwa, 31, Cabson Chandaona, 43, Alton Makando, 31, Ashton Chinhoyi, 31, Abisha Mutandwa, 30, Brian Machingura, 18, Nathan Muparadzi, 39, Takavengwa Gwenzi, 46, Tichafa Madyegure, 41, Munaro Singadi, 42, Ziwanayi Nyatikonde, 30, Johannes Makumbe, 39, Paul Mupikata, 32, Simango Mharadza, 45, Tachiva Munemo, 37, Regis Bute, 31, and Clephas Muwona.

They are charged together with Milton Murinda, Dennis Banda and John Mutasa, who are also in custody, over the same charges.

Allegations against the accused persons arose on May 30 when an entourage led by Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) president Archbishop Johannes Ndanga, that included police officers and journalists, was beaten up by the vapositori.

This was after Ndanga had read out a letter banning the church on allegations of abusing women and children. The congregants challenged the ACCZ leader to read his speech in Shona, claiming they were not familiar with English.

Ndanga then ordered police to arrest one of the congregants who kept interjecting as he read the speech.

Other congregants then began singing a song called Umambo hwepfumo neropa, before all male congregants armed with shepherd’s crooks charged towards the “trespassers,” and assaulted them.

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.