Ooutrage over vetoing of Hon. Mangoma’s bail order

elton_mangoma_arrestedZimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) is once again perturbed by the spiteful and unwarranted actions of representatives of the Attorney General (AG)s Office who on Tuesday 29 March 2011 vetoed a bail order which had been granted to Energy and Power Development Minister Hon. Elton Mangoma (Pictured)

Tawanda Zvekare, a law officer in the AGs Office on Tuesday 29 March 2011 invoked Section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act (CPEA) to suspend the bail order which had been granted to Hon. Mangoma by High Court Judge Justice Yunus Omerjee.

Surprisingly, Zvekare had earlier on consented to bail on the condition that Hon. Mangoma would be barred from reporting for duty until his case has been finalised, a condition which was opposed by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) deputy treasurer-generals lawyers Selby Hwacha and Beatrice Mtetwa.

Justice Omerjee had granted bail to Hon. Mangoma on the same conditions that he was admitted to bail by Justice Samuel Kudya on 15 March 2011, on a similar charge of criminal abuse of duty as a public officer and had only ordered the Energy and Power Development Minister to surrender his title deeds to his residential property. Justice Omerjee had also dismissed the States request to bar Hon. Mangoma from executing his duties.

But in his typical and intransigent manner, Zvekare invoked Section 121 of the CPEA which suspends the bail order for seven days pending the filing of an appeal by the State in the Supreme Court.

This counter-measure, which prosecutors and representatives of the AGs Office have abused in recent years, clearly usurps the power of Judges and other judicial officers to safeguard the fundamental right to liberty of the accused person.

In Hon. Mangomas case, the actions of the AGs Office lends credence to allegations that the abuse of Section 121 of the CPEA was meant to disenfranchise the MDC and favour ZANU PF by revoking his right of suffrage during a vote held on Tuesday afternoon to elect a new Speaker of Parliament.

ZLHR reiterates that obnoxious laws such as Section 121 of the CPEA together with the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) among other draconian laws are some of the laws that Parliament and the coalition government should see to it that they are repealed if Zimbabwe is not to remain as an island of oppression in the sea of democracy.

Post published in: Politics

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