Mamombe and Chimbiri remain jailed after being denied bail again

MDC Alliance MP, Joana Mamombe

MDC Alliance legislator Joana Mamombe and activist Cecilia Chimbiri, who are accused of violating Covid-19 regulations, have again been denied bail.

The duo had made a new application for bail on changed circumstances but Harare magistrate Denis Mangosi ruled that nothing has changed to warrant granting them bail.

Mamombe and Chimbiri were arrested in March on allegations of holding a press conference outside the court where they denounced the police at a time public gatherings were banned.

They were initially denied bail by magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti-Guuriro, who ruled that the two had the propensity to commit similar offences as they were already on remand.

Their bid to seek freedom on an appeal at the High Court also hit a brick wall, forcing them to return to the lower court, citing changed circumstances.

Through their lawyers Alec Muchadehama and Jeremiah Bamu, the two approached magistrate Mangosi arguing that circumstances had changed and there were no longer any reasons to hold them.

They argued that student activist Takudzwa Ngadziore, who was arrested on similar allegations, was granted bail and they ought to be treated in the same manner.

The duo also argued that the charge should not be based on violating Covid-19 regulations since the lockdown regulations have since been relaxed and the lapse of time had weakened the case.

Prosecutor Lancelot Mutsokoti opposed the application, saying nothing has been placed before the court to show changed circumstances.

The State argued the lapse of time should not be considered as they had made progress on the matter and provided the two with a trial date of May 5.

Magistrate Mangosi ruled that the changed circumstances have not been established and the issue of propensity to commit similar offences remains.

The magistrate also added that the duo’s situation was different from that of Ngadziore, who was released by the High Court after the judge reasoned that he was “an over enthusiastic youth who is yet to mature”.

However, Mamombe and Chimbiri have an appreciation of the law, with the former being a lawmaker in Parliament. – Daily News.

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