Application for Leave granted


Today, Wednesday the 4th of July 2012, witnessed the granting of the application for leave to the Glenview 29. The Glenview 29 are accused of murdering Inspector Petros Mutedza a member of the Zimbabwe Republic Police in Glenview in May 2011. The application for leave will see the defense team comprised of Beatrice Mtetwa, Selby Hwacha, Aleck Muchadehama, Charles Kwaramba, Gift Mtisi and Jeremiah Bhamu challenging the constitutionality of   Section 117 (6) of the (Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act) at the Supreme Court and advocating for bail for the Glenview 29. This is a welcome development considering that some of the accused have been in remand for close to a year for a crime they did not commit and now there is hope that they will be given their freedom back.

High Court Judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu told the court that the defense team lacked evidence for special circumstances as stipulated in Section 117 (6) of the (Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act) which postulates that an accused person alleged to have killed a law enforcement officer in the course of duty be detained in custody until he or she has been dealt with in accordance with the law. He noted that he did not see any success in the defense team getting bail for the accused. He further commented that a higher standard of proof was needed for the granting of bail at any Court in the country. In his own words the Judge described the seeking of bail at the Supreme Court by the defense team as "A person chasing after his or her own shadow €. The Judge further noted that the killing of a police officer who is on duty is a declaration of war against the central Government.

The evidence produced so far in Court by the State witnesses since the trial started about a month ago proved weak and not substantial enough to pin the murder on the Glenview 29. All the State witnesses could not identify a single person among the accused 29 as being responsible for the crime. The state witnesses who were together at the time of the incident gave contradicting statements which proves that the evidence by the state is corrupt and meant to falsely convict the 29. The trial is set to continue next week at the High Court as the defense team also prepares to seek bail at the Supreme Court. It is however a well known fact that a person is innocent until he or she is proven guilty which is why the Glenview 29 should be granted bail.

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