Mutodi seeks bail

HARARE - Energy Mutodi’s bail hearing has  been set for tomorrow after his lawyer made frantic efforts yesterday to facilitate his release through a High Court appeal.

Mutodi’s lawyer Doug Coltart confirmed to the Daily News yesterday that they had filed an appeal before the High Court, challenging Harare Provincial Magistrate Elisha Singano’s ruling.

“We prepared an appeal at the High Court which we filed today (yesterday). The hearing is on tomorrow,” Coltart said.

Mutodi, who is facing charges of undermining the authority of the president and causing disaffection among members of the defence forces, was remanded in custody to August 25 before he was advised to apply for bail at the High Court.

Singano said it was justified for the State to continue detaining the Zanu PF activist, who is an avowed supporter of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

In his ruling, Singano said while the law was clear that there must be compelling reasons for an accused to be denied bail, its provisions did not apply to Mutodi because he was allegedly inciting violence through his hate speech in his social media posts.

“It is the court’s considered view that the offence may have been committed within the jurisdiction of this court, here in Zimbabwe.

“There is a nexus between the accused person and the alleged postings and police are still analysing the Facebook page and other material which may have been used committing the offence.

“The court will allow police to bring cogent facts for remand purposes as there is a genuine reason why they need more time. It is a good reason since it can show if the accused person was acting alone or in cahoots with other people or if someone else was abusing his Facebook account. A further detention is therefore warranted,” ruled Singano

Mutodi was arrested after he wrote on his social networking wall, Facebook, that Zimbabwe risked a coup if the thorny succession issue was not resolved amicably, adding that President Robert Mugabe should consult the army to avert chaos.

“While a military takeover may be far-fetched in Zimbabwe, it is important for . . . Mugabe to be careful in naming his successor. Any suspicion of unfairness or discrimination on account of tribalism or factionalism may backfire,” he wrote.

“There are key stakeholders that need to be consulted, among them the military and the whole security establishment called the Joint Operations Command that is chaired by vice president Mnangagwa,” he wrote.

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