$300 bail for war vets spokesman

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Fun­gai Lu­pande

THE Zim­babwe Na­tional Lib­er­a­tion War Veter­ans’ As­so­ci­a­tion (ZNL­WVA) sec­re­tary for in­for­ma­tion and pub­lic­ity Douglas Mahiya was yes­ter­day freed on $300 bail.

Mean­while, ZNL­WVA sec­re­tary­gen­eral Vic­tor Matemadanda was picked up by po­lice out­side the Rot­ten Row mag­is­trate courts in Harare af­ter Mahiya’s bail hear­ing.

Pros­e­cu­tors Mr Tapiwa Kasema and Ms Sharon Fero ap­plied for sus­pen­sion of the bail for 48 hours pend­ing their ap­peal in terms of Sec­tion 121 as amended by the 2016 Crim­i­nal Pro­ce­dure and Ev­i­dence Act (CPEA). The amended sec­tion of the CPEA now gives a mag­is­trate or judge dis­cre­tionary power to sus­pend or con­firm his bail de­ci­sion but be­fore it al­lowed the State to re­voke bail for seven days while it ap­pealed. Mag­is­trate Mr Vakayi Chik­wekwe up­held his bail rul­ing say­ing the ap­peal does not sus­pend bail. As part of his bail con­di­tions, Mr Chik­wekwe or­dered Mahiya to re­port ev­ery Mon­day and Thurs­day at CID Law and Or­der, Harare and to re­side at his Chi­tung­wiza house pend­ing fi­nal­i­sa­tion of the mat­ter. Mahiya (61), through his lawyer Mr Har­ri­son Nkomo, no­ti­fied the court of his in­ten­tion to chal­lenge place­ment on re­mand on the ba­sis that State pa­pers do not dis­close an of­fence.

The mat­ter was re­manded to Au­gust 12. The court ad­journed briefly af­ter one of the war veter­ans iden­ti­fied as Cde Shingi fell in a trance.

Ousted Vice Pres­i­dent and now Zim­babwe Peo­ple First leader Dr Joice Mu­juru at­tended the court pro­ceed­ings.

Mahiya is fac­ing charges of un­der­min­ing the au­thor­ity of, or in­sult­ing the Pres­i­dent. It is al­leged that be­tween April 2016 and July 2016, Mahiya, act­ing in con­nivance with other high rank­ing na­tional, pro­vin­cial and district mem­bers still at large, au­thored a doc­u­ment head­lined, “War Veter­ans com­mu­niqué on the state of Zim­babwe’s econ­omy, the Zanu-PF party lead­er­ship and the way for­ward for the peo­ple of Zim­babwe”, in which they al­legedly made defam­a­tory state­ments thereby un­der­min­ing the au­thor­ity of Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe.

The State al­leged that Mahiya cre­ated the com­mu­niqué with the knowl­edge and re­al­i­sa­tion that its con­tents may en­gen­der hos­til­ity or cause ha­tred, con­tempt or ridicule to­wards Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe.

On July 21, Mahiya al­legedly held a meet­ing at Rayl­ton Sports Club and is­sued the com­mu­niqué to a few jour­nal­ists lead­ing to the doc­u­ment be­ing pub­lished in the News­day news­pa­per, and on the In­ter­net. It is al­leged that in an in­ter­view with an SABC re­porter, Mahiya also den­i­grated the Pres­i­dent.

On July 27, a search was con­ducted at his res­i­dence and copies of the com­mu­niqué were found as well doc­u­ments ti­tled ‘Re­sponse to the Pres­i­dent’s at­tack on War Veter­ans’, which also un­der­mined the Pres­i­dent’s au­thor­ity.

Douglas Mahiya (left) em­braces Vic­tor Matemadanda out­side court in Harare yes­ter­day

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