Political activist Jacob Ngarivhume yesterday lost his fresh bid for bail on changed circumstances after the court noted there were no changes on his case since the day when his initial application was dismissed.
Harare regional Magistrate Mr Trynois Utahwashe said Ngarivhume and his followers, including Job Sikhala, who wanted to push for regime change have not yet achieved their objective and are likely to continue breaching regulations that protects public peace and security.
Mr Utahwashe noted that they had turned the event into a movement for purposes of perpetuating their agenda.
Ngarivhume and his sympathisers have since turned the July 31 into a movement.
Mr Utahwashe said the courts were impartial and did not delve into politics.
He said those in politics, including Ngarivhume, should abide by the laws of the country, especially during these times of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ngarivhume was remanded to September 4.
In his fresh bail application, Ngarivhume, through his lawyer Mr Moses Nkomo, told the court that there were changed circumstances since July 31 had passed.
Said Ngarivhume in his application: “Applicant has now approached this honourable court on the basis that 31st July 2020 is past and there were no incidences of violence or disturbances of public order or undermining of public peace and security.”
Ngarivhume argued that the few people who were arrested on the day of the flopped much-hyped demonstrations were granted bail and he should be freed on the same vein.
“It is submitted in casu that circumstances have changed to such an extent that they warrant the release of the accused on bail without compromising the reasons for the initial refusal of the bail application,” said Mr Nkomo.
“Specifically, it is no longer possible for the applicant to call for another demonstration on July 31 2020 as the accused had initially done.
Ngarivhume told the court that he will be wiser and will ensure that he takes appropriate measures that address police’s fears in the event that he wishes to call for another demonstration in future.
He then proposed that he deposits $5 000 and report to the police every Friday as part of his bail conditions.
In opposing the application, State counsel Mr Michael Reza told the court that there were no changed circumstances, as Ngarivhume was determined to continue pursuing his agenda.
“There are no changed circumstances as they have changed the July 31 protests into #JULY31MOVEMENT,” he said.
“The State has watched a video in which his colleague Job Sikhala was encouraging people to join the movement. These are determined people and determined people will take it as a learning curve.
“In other words, he has learnt and the objective of the demonstration of removing the leader of the Government, President Mnangagwa, from office have not been met and they will not stop.”