Rights activists' application dismissed

HARARE - Harare magistrate Stanford Mambanje yesterday dismissed an application to have the case of 10 human rights activists referred to the Constitutional Court.

In the case, involving Linda Masarira of the Occupy Africa Unity Square anti-President Robert Mugabe campaign, the group is facing charges of engaging in violent protests that took place on July 6, in Harare.

Masarira was, however, the only one denied bail in the group due to a pending warrant of arrest issued against her at the Mutare Magistrates’ Courts.

The ten’s defence counsel, Kudzayi Kadzere, had argued in the Constitutional Court referral application that the mob was over-detained by the police.

Kadzere told the court that the mandatory detention time of 48 hours had lapsed from the day they were arrested to when they appeared before the courts.

However, Mambanje argued that the circumstances presented by Kadzere were not sufficient to warrant an order of over-detention.

Mambanje said evidence based on Masarira’s testimony was opposed by the State as being frivolous and vexatious.

The magistrate said the evidence did not show how their rights were violated or how placing them on remand for the alleged offence was unconstitutional.

He added that it was puzzling that during the bail application of the accused persons, Kadzere did not raise the issue of over-detention only to make it the basis of the Constitutional Court referral application later.

“This same court made the same ruling that the accused persons were not over-detained yet now they want the court to overturn its own ruling through such an application.

“If they felt that the court had erred they should have followed the proper procedures. As such the court is of the view that the referral is irrelevant,” he said.

Kadzere gave notice to the State that if not furnished with a trial date on August 11, they be removed from remand.

He also applied to have Masarira transferred to Mutare remand.

Comments (1)

mmmm this is getting out of hand. God Lord intervene

Court - 28 July 2016

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