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Zimbabwe Opposition Politician, Journalist Finally Granted Bail

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(AFRICAN EXAMINER) The Zimbabwe High Court has granted bail to opposition leader and top journalist who have been languishing in remand prison for over a month.

Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume was released on Z$50 000 bail and immediately barred from using his Twitter handle @JacobNgarivhume which the State alleges he was using to incite citizens to revolt against the government.

On the other hand, investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono who appeared sickly when he stood for his routine remand before a magistrate’s court, was released on Z$10 000.

Both were ordered to report to the police three times a week, continue residing at their given addresses, not to interfere with witnesses and to surrender their passports.

Both had also had their bail applications thrown out severally by a lower court before they appealed to the High Court.

Justice Tawanda Chaitapi ruled separately in both cases that the magistrate had erred in denying them bail.

“Accordingly, it is ordered that the appeal is allowed. The ruling of the court aquo is hereby set aside and further reasons are provided in the full judgment. This court holds that the magistrate erred,” said Justice Chitapi before granting Ngarivhume bail.

The two were separately arrested on July 20 for allegedly inciting public to revolt against government with regards to the July 31 protests.

Chin’ono showed Covid-19 symptoms when he appeared for bail ruling Wednesday, with his lawyers insisting that he was not fit to stand in court.

The defence team’s plea was ignored as the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services dismissed claims saying he was healthy, despite a private doctor on Monday saying the scribe had shown signs of coronavirus as he developed a headache and temperature rise.

Chin’ono was in a single cell with 30 other inmates.

He will be back in court on September 14.

Meanwhile, another opposition leader, Job Sikhala who is MDC Alliance vice chair bail hearing continues.

Sikhala who was arrested a fortnight ago, told court he is a good candidate as he has never defaulted in 64 cases he has been arrested for by the state.


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