Police officers spent the night at the Borrowdale Half Way Health facility watching over MDC-Alliance member Joana Mamombe who was yesterday issued with a warrant of arrest for failing to attend court as she is admitted at the health centre.
Mamombe failed to attend court for trial on charges of faking her abduction in May, with her lawyer saying she was hospitalised at the Harare health centre receiving treatment for anxiety disorder.
The court claimed that her lawyer failed to produce the required doctor’s certificate and admission records, hence the warrant.
Last night, police officers from the Law and Order section were at Borrowdale Halfway House where Mamombe is hospitalised and while they said they had not served the warrant, they were maintaining an unexplained police presence at the hospital.
Mamombe’s lawyer, Mr Jeremiah Bamu, was also present to monitor his client and see if the police would serve the warrant.
Lawyer Mr Alec Muchadehama had told Harare magistrate Mrs Bianca Makwande at the court in the morning that Mamombe could not attend court as she was admitted at Borrowdale Halfway House.
But no documentation was presented from the doctor nor proof that she was an in-patient, both of which the magistrate wanted as a matter of routine.
She is jointly charged with other MDC-Alliance members Netsai Marova and Cecilia Chimbiri, who did come to court and were ordered to return on September 29 for trial.
Mr Muchadehama applied for a postponement of the trial saying the defence wanted time to allow Mamombe to heal and be fit to stand trial.
“The first accused (Mamombe) is unable to attend court today because on September 4 she was taken ill suffering from what the doctors described as anxiety disorder.
“She is currently admitted at Borrowdale Halfway House where her condition is being managed by a doctor. The doctor advised that she is unable to attend trial,” he told the court.
Mr Muchadehama said Mamombe was not in wilful default and the defence had arranged for Dr Fungisai Mazhandu to testify on her condition in court.
He said they wrote a letter on September 7 notifying the court of Mamombe’s condition, which also prompted them to seek variation of her bail reporting conditions. The court relaxed Mamombe’s bail conditions following the notification.
State counsel, Mr Michael Reza, opposed to the application for postponement of trial saying there was no documentary evidence from the doctor to prove that Mamombe was admitted and receiving treatment.
The letter last week only referred to reporting conditions and spoke nothing about her ability to attend trial.
The court claimed that the medical report which was filed in the record does not show where Mamombe was admitted.
Source: State Media