Mnangagwa supporter freed on $100 bail

HARARE - Vocal former Zanu PF provincial youth leader Godfrey Tsenengamu — facing charges of attempting to subvert President Robert Mugabe’s government — was yesterday freed on $100 bail.

High Court judge Priscillah Chigumba ruled that the 34-year-old politician was a suitable candidate for bail after prosecutor Tapiwa Kasema consented to the request.

“It is apparent that the applicant (Tsenengamu) has produced evidence to discharge the onus on him to show that it is in the interest of justice for him to be released on bail,” Kasema argued.

Chigumba said there were no compelling reasons warranting her to deny him bail.

As part of the bail conditions, Tsenengamu — represented by Zivanai Macharaga — was ordered to report at Waterfalls Police Station every Friday, surrender his passport and to reside at the address that he provided to the court until the finalisation of the case.

Tsenengamu approached the High Court after Harare magistrate Victoria Mashamba remanded him in custody last week.

He is also facing two other charges: violating provisions of the Public Order and Security Act for holding a press conference in Harare without clearance, and undermining the authority of the president.

In his bail application, Tsenengamu argued that when he spoke about Mugabe being replaced by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, he was referring to party president not as State president.

“There is a difference between political party presidency and State presidency.

“It is not a crime to advocate for removal of a party president but when it comes to State president one has to look if the removal is constitutional or not,” he said, adding that he had no case to answer.

Tsenengamu was arrested after he convened a press conference in the capital where he called for a “mega fightback” from Mnangagwa and his allies, following Mugabe’s birthday interview with ZBC in which the nonagenarian appeared to crush the VP’s mooted presidential ambitions by saying that no one in Zanu PF was worthy of succeeding him.

The State said his statement had the effect of engendering feelings of hostility, cause hatred and ridicule towards Mugabe.

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