- Last Updated on 23 March 2012
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The Glen View 29 who include Zimrights National Coordinator, Ms. Cynthia Manjoro, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) National Executive member, Last Maengahama and MDC Youth Assembly President, Solomon Madzore remain in custody facing charges of murdering police officer, Petros Mutedza in May 2011 in Glen View township. The trial of the 29, which was meant to commence on the 12th of March 2012 failed to take off due to an application by the Defense for trial postponement to the 2nd of April. The defence also applied for bail for the activists.
However, the Glenview 29 continue languishing in remand prison due to the continued postponement of the bail application and the subsequent decision by High Court Judge, Justice Chinembiri Bhunu to reserve judgement indefinitely. The bail application has been postponed a record eight times over the past two weeks for a number of reasons ranging from the alleged poor health of Justice Bhunu, failure by Prosecutor Edmore Nyazamba to appear for the hearing and transport problems experienced by one of the assessors. It is clear that the state is bent on frustrating efforts to secure the release on bail of the 29 activists. The 29 have already served jail time although they await their trial and judgement.
The postponements have exposed the hypocrisy of Prosecutor Nyazamba who, on the 12th of March responded to the application by the defense for trial postponement saying, 'This idea of postponing is an injustice to the accused persons.' It seems Nyazamba failed to take up the advice he offered to the Defence as he continues to block the release on bail of the 29 calling them 'flight risks' and is a culprit in the continued postponements.
At the last court hearing held on the 22nd of March, the defence, led by Charles Kwaramba, submitted that the accused deserved to be admitted to bail as the state's case against them is weak and has failed to establish any factors in terms of Section 112 of the Criminal Procedures and Evidence Act to deny them bail. He added that the indictment of the accused had only weakened the case. Of Jefias Moyo, one of the accused, the defence stated that to remand him in custody just because he is alleged to have committed a crime whilst on bail would be a violation of the presumption that one is innocent until proven guilty.
The defence also submitted that given the time that has lapsed since the arrest of the accused persons, police had not retrieved any more evidence and thus the state did not have cogent reasons to support its bail opposition. Kwaramba said the police, having taken the accused persons into custody so they could investigate, were not investigating as they have failed to investigate Solomon Madzore's alibi.
The presiding judge, Justice Chinembiri Bhunu postponed the bail ruling indefinitely.