Deputy Mayor and 26 MDC activists released on bail Wednesday

A Murambinda magistrate has granted bail to 27 MDC members, including the Deputy Mayor of Mutare, Admire Mukorera. The MDC MP for Makoni South, Pishai Muchauraya, said they were released after paying US$50 bail each.

The MDC members were the latest group of party supporters who were
arrested in connection with violence that broke out in Buhera during
the funeral of the Prime Minister's wife, Susan.

The MDC said they had all been arrested during a door to door campaign
against their supporters by the police. This was the second time that
the Deputy Mayor of Mutare was arrested. He was first arrested on
Saturday and released on Sunday. He is accused of having been seen with
MDC activists involved in the alleged violence around the time of the
funeral of Amai Susan Tsvangirai. The MDC denies this and says it is
their supporters who had their homes burnt down when violence erupted
in Buhera last week.

Although the 27 were released on bail on Wednesday, another 17
activists are still in custody in Rusape Remand Prison. They are also
charged for public violence.

Meanwhile lawyers representing the remaining three political detainees
in Harare, are expected to make an application for leave to appeal in
the High Court on Thursday. Photo-journalist Shadreck Andrew Manyere,
the MDC's Security Director Chris Dhlamini and Ghandi Mudzingwa the
Prime Minister's former aide, are already waiting a bail appeal in the
Supreme Court.

Lawyer Andrew Makoni said Thursday's court hearing is a precursor to
the actual bail hearing which will be held in the Supreme Court.

The MDC officials are both being held at the Avenues Clinic, while the
photo-journalist is still in Chikurubi Maximum Security prison.

The Financial Gazette reported last week that the Joint Monitoring and
Implementation Committee (JOMIC) had summoned the co-ministers of Home
Affairs Giles Mutsekwa and Kembo Mohadi to discuss the issue of the
remaining detainees. Makoni said he also heard through the newspapers
that a decision was reached between JOMIC and the Ministers, that the
political detainees would be granted bail, but that had not happened

Makoni said: We didn't get confirmation from either JOMIC members or
from the Ministers themselves as to the position. We sought the
audience of the AG's office and they indicated that they are going
ahead. They were not going to consent to any release. They await the
ruling of the courts.

The lawyer said there was political intervention that resulted in bail
being granted to the other political detainees in Harare. He indicated
that in the case of Jestina Mukoko and others, the AG's office
consented to bail because of an agreement which had been reached
between the President and the Prime Minister.

Despite the power sharing agreement the victimisation of political
opponents continues in Zimbabwe and at least 44 MDC members have been
arrested in Manicaland province since Friday last week. Scores of civic
and political activist, including Mukoko are still facing charges of

Senior MDC official Roy Bennett also faces charges of terrorism and
banditry. The Deputy Agriculture Minister designate was remanded out of
custody to 21st April when he appeared at the Mutare Magistrate’s Court
for a remand hearing. He had been released on bail late last week,
after spending a month in prison.

The MDC said it believes that the long delay in setting a remand date
to 21 April is an attempt to psychologically intimidate Hon. Bennett,
his family and the party.

SWRadio Africa

Post published in: Politics

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