Court sets free Mwanaka after two months in prison

HIGH Court Judge Justice Emmy Tsanga on Tuesday 19 September 2017 set free Barnabas Mwanaka, a Harare resident, who had been in detention for more than two months after he was arrested and charged with murder following the death of Talkmore Phiri, a law enforcement agent, who reportedly died in June following skirmishes between police officers and informal sector traders in Harare.

Mwanaka, who is represented by Tonderai Bhatasara of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, had endured 73 days in detention after he was arrested by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers on Saturday 8 July 2017 and charged with murder as defined in Section 47 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (Chapter 09:23).

But Justice Tsanga on Tuesday 19 September 2017 granted Mwanaka $200 bail and ordered him to report to police three times a week among other stringent bail conditions.

Prosecutors claimed that the 35 year-old Mwanaka together with two other Harare residents Darlington Madzonga, a pro-democracy campaigner and Edmore Musvubhi mobilised themselves on Thursday 29 June 2017 and connived to attack some police officers from the ZRP’s Police Reaction Group, who were on duty escorting some officers from Harare Central Police Station’s Operations Unit.

The trio, the ZRP officers claimed, hit the now deceased Phiri with stones and “booted” feet, and the police officer had to be rescued by his workmates who rushed him to Morris Depot, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

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