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40 opposition activists detained over car rally out on bail; magistrate says not enough evidence provided

By Staff Reporter

OPPOSITION National Assembly candidate for Glenview South, Grandmore Hakata and 39 other party supporters have finally been granted bail after missing the voting day.

The 40 were released by magistrate Earnmore Mapiye who said the State had insufficient evidence to keep the suspects in jail.

The Investigating Officer had said among other things, that he was yet to secure the accused’s residential addresses but the court ruled that they cannot be punished for his failure to do his job.

The State also argued that the group was likely to flee from court jurisdiction but the magistrate said no evidence was tendered to support these fears.

She said any fears could be allayed by imposing stringent reporting conditions.

The activists are being accused of breaching the Maintenance of Order and Peace Act (MOPA).

According to the State, the suspects breached maintenance of peace regulations.

It is alleged that the CCC convenor, Lawrence Materege notified the local Regulating Authority for Harare South of their rally set for Churu Farm on 15th August 2023 from 1000 hours to 1600 hours.

“The convenor and Grandmore Hakata then decided to divert from the notified rally at Churu Farm and went on a car rally procession from Glen View area into High Glen Road, Main Street, Machipisa Road into Highfield suburb and stopped at the OK Machipisa traffic lights while openly blocking traffic.

“The group allegedly started to chant party slogans and sing.

“A concerned citizen made an official report to the police,” said the prosecution.

In a different case, 19 police recruits who attacked civilians in Harare CBD last Friday have been granted US$100 bail each.

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