Gwisai, a labour law lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe and International Socialist Organisation general-coordinator for the local chapter is jointly charged with Antoneta Choto, Tatenda Mombeyarara, Edson Chakuma, Hopewell Gumbo and Welcome Zimuto.
They are accused of plotting to unseat government through unconstitutional means, Egypt-style. The accused’s defence counsel Alec Muchadehama lodged an application in the High Court last week stating that his clients had religiously abided by their bail conditions since their release from remand prison in March after a month of incarceration.
The State has advised that it would be reducing the charges to lesser ones. The feared temptation of applicants to abscond from the initial charges has been greatly reduced if not totally eliminated, not that it ever existed, the application said. High Court Judge Justice Joseph Musakwa briefly heard the application on Friday before deferring the matter to Monday to allow Edmore Nyazamba of the Attorney Generals Office to file his response to the activists application.
The accused have been reporting three times a week to Harare Central Police Station. Applicants submit that the conditions have become burdensome and they need to carry on with their normal lives, the application said. All applicants have suffered immense restrictions in their daily lives.
On Monday, Justice Samuel Uchena, okayed the relaxation of the reporting conditions from three times a week to once every week. Justice Uchena however declined to release the accused’s passports. Justice Uchena ruled that whenever a genuine need to travel arose, each of the six would still make an application for temporary release of the passports.
Gwisai and 44 activists were arrested in February after police busted their meeting in which they were reviewing footage of popular uprisings that ousted long-serving dictators in Egypt and Tunisia. However, 39 of the activists, including HIV and AIDS campaigners, were freed by Harare Magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi who asserted they had no case to answer.Post published in: News