Drama as war vet Mahiya is released

HARARE - Former Vice President and now Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) leader Joice Mujuru led a high-profile cast of liberation struggle stalwarts and civic society leaders yesterday as she unexpectedly pitched up at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts to show solidarity with war veterans’ spokesperson Douglas Mahiya.

The dramatic day saw gathered war veterans weeping in frustration and singing revolutionary songs outside the court, as emotions ran high among the under-siege former freedom fighters who are struggling to come to terms with how their standing in society has plummeted precipitously in a matter of weeks.

Among yesterday’s noteworthy drama was when a female war veteran went into a trance, shouting the name of the iconic spirit medium Mbuya Nehanda and former Zanu PF secretary-general Herbert Chitepo, creating commotion and temporarily stopping court proceedings.

Mujuru was joined in the public gallery by prominent human rights lawyers and the leadership of the war veterans, including their embattled chairman Christopher Mutsvangwa and secretary-general Victor Matemandanda.

Unfortunately, for Matemadanda, he was not afforded the opportunity to remain in court by panicking authorities to witness Mahiya getting bail later in the afternoon — being promptly arrested just as the court adjourned for lunch.

Mutsvangwa’s presence at the court also caught many people by surprise, as this came a week after he was savaged by President Robert Mugabe for allegedly leading a revolt against him by the former freedom fighters.

He was joined in the public gallery by, among other people, politicians and lawyers who included MDC vice president Nelson Chamisa and Beatrice Mtetwa.

On Saturday, prominent South African lawyer George Bizos made a surprise appearance at Mahiya’s weekend bail hearing, accompanied by former South African Constitutional Court judge, Johann Kriegler — as the war veterans’ fallout with Mugabe went truly global.

Bizos was the late Nelson Mandela’s lawyer and friend, and also represented opposition leader and former prime minister in the government of national unity, Morgan Tsvangirai, during his failed treason trial in 2003.

The female war veteran, only identified as Shingi, also called on the spirits of Josiah Tongogara and Chitepo to descend into the court to rescue Mahiya.

“Tongogara and Chitepo, you are our lawyers that represented us during the war of liberation, can you come and represent your son. We are the bones that Mbuya Nehanda referred to when she said ‘my bones shall rise’,” she shouted in Shona before she was eventually taken away.

Mahiya was later granted $300 bail after spending five nights in jail. He was ordered to report to the police twice a week and to reside at the address he gave the court.

“In dealing with bail, the court must remember that it’s not just the fate of the accused but also his family and other dependents that look up to him.

“The State produced an affidavit compiled by (Crispen) Makedenge. However, the prosecutor did not make a single attempt to support the points raised. One would have expected the State to support such.

“The allegations stem from a period of three-and-a-half months between April and July and all that time accused was out of custody. When he held his meeting on July 21, he had informed police and the meeting lasted from 10am to 5pm but no violence or disorder was recorded.

“I have no doubt that accused will stand trial if released,” Chikwekwe said while making his bail ruling.

However, soon after bail was granted, prosecutor Tapiwa Kasema surprisingly moved to invoke provisions of the amended Section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, which suspends the bail ruling for 48 hours while the State appeals a court ruling.

However, Mahiya’s lawyer Harrison Nkomo said that there was no justified legal basis for the suspension of bail, an argument that Chikwekwe agreed with.

Comments (9)

All Zim problems are cooked in Grace's skirt. After Mugabe we must make her rot in prison. Viva war vets. Zim we now one, crying for freedom

abongile - 2 August 2016

All Zim problems are cooked in Grace's skirt. After Mugabe we must make her rot in prison. Viva war vets. Zim we now one, crying for freedom

abongile - 2 August 2016

takambozvitaura tichabva kuhondo kuti mukuru uyu hatimuoni zvakanaka asi vamwe vakaita nharo,hezvi nhasi tiripi chaiseva chotemura

cde ziya - 2 August 2016

Mukuru akatarira and observed party yasara mbwende.ana svusvura ndadja.Mukuru anodeedzwa onzi ndeipi iyi yawaakupinda nayo.kwete kungotevera sure bedzi.anagudzamudungwe.

viola gwena - 2 August 2016

who is mahiya?where was he trained?where was he deployed?

truth - 2 August 2016

Zvekuti Mahiya akatrainer kupi and anoita nezvei hazvina basa, what is important is that he is a Zimbabwean with every right to be led by a leader of his choice and you Truth and your Bob can't change that

ZIGGY ZIGAWO - 2 August 2016

the truth about mahiya is there and his history is well documented unlike your history mr truth now we no u and your history sir .you still kept close in Grace Mugabes under garments for the mere reason of tormenting souls in Zimbabwe .

murambatsvina - 3 August 2016

Ana truth muripapi chaipo kumawar vets hamuko kuchurch kumaopozisheni Ku imba dzamugabe blood sickers Rise UP ZIMBABWE #GO Mugabe GO

diehard - 4 August 2016

Mugabe ourselves thank! satanyoko timings Hondo ukaramba uchidai. looking namunangagwa harakiri. patinokusunga grace miner ndichisvira kusvika amama

Sahara mugabe - 8 August 2016

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