Acie Lumumba freed on bail

HARARE - Former Zanu PF youth leader Lumumba William Gerald Mutumanje also known as Acie Lumumba was dragged back to court yesterday after spending a night in custody on an outstanding warrant of arrest relating to an alleged vehicle theft charge.

This comes after Lumumba’s lawyers condemned the arrest of the Viva Zimbabwe leader at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts for allegedly violating bail conditions, calling the action malicious and an affront to the rule of law.

In a letter to acting Prosecutor-General Ray Goba, Mutumanje — who is facing allegations of insulting President Robert Mugabe — said he was wrongfully and maliciously arrested on Wednesday at Harare Magistrates’ Courts at around 11am by police officers from the Vehicle Theft Section (VTS).

The former Zanu PF activist was arrested on Wednesday just after appearing before magistrate Barbara Chimboza in the morning for routine remand proceedings pending the set-down of his presidential insult case at the Constitutional Court (Con-Court), accompanied by another lawyer from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, David Hofisi.

Mutumanje’s case was referred to the Con-Court after he argued that his constitutional right to freedom of expression had been trampled on when he was charged under section 33 (2) (b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform Act) for undermining the authority of the president by telling a press conference “f**k you Robert Mugabe.”

Mutumanje is alleged to have violated his bail conditions in a separate case in which he is jointly charged with Tonderai Maposa on allegations of selling a Toyota Ipsum vehicle, which was not registered either at the Central Vehicle Registry or in the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority.

Mutumanje was arrested at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts when he had appeared and pulled the record of proceedings from the Clerk of Court to be heard in a default enquiry in Court No. 6.

While his matter had not been handled, during tea break, police officers arrested him and took him to Southerton Police Station before he could be heard.

“This raises serious suspicion,” his lawyers from Kudzai, Hungwe and Mandevere said in a letter to PG Goba, also copied to the Court 6 clerk of court, commissioner-general of police Augustine Chihuri and the officer-in-charge VTS.

“Why would police arrest an accused person at court who had voluntarily appeared at court to cancel his warrant, why whisking him away to detain him at a police station, when the reason for the arrest should be to present the accused before the court,” the letter to Goba said.

“In this respect, the accused had already presented himself before the court. Is the enquiry being done at the police station?

“Our client should be treated fairly and in terms of the law. There cannot be a procedure when an accused on an outstanding warrant, has presented himself before the court to cancel the same warrant is arrested and whisked away from the same court unless the arrest is malicious.”

Mutumanje’s lawyers demanded his immediate freedom, culminating in his court appearance yesterday.

When he appeared before Harare magistrate Victoria Mashamba yesterday, Mutumanje was represented by Marufu Mandevere of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.

An outstanding warrant of arrest issued on January 28, was cancelled after Mandevere explained that his client had problems arranging his flight back to Zimbabwe.

Mashamba warned Mutumanje to take heed of his next court appearance and avoid inconveniencing the justice delivery system.

He was remanded to May 9 for trial.

Comments (1)

Why is it looking like the state has nothing at the moment? They should just admit it so that the whole of Zim will know that Bob is not God

Ndosvotwa Mhani - 15 April 2017

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