By A Correspondent- 12 Zanu PF supporters, who were arrested for participating in an illegal demonstration at the party’s national headquarters in Harare, have been released on bail.
The supporters were on Tuesday this week ordered to pay US$50 bail each and return to court on October 23 for routine remand.
In granting bail, Harare magistrate Apolonia Marutya said the accused demonstrated peacefully, therefore, the issue of public safety raised by the State did not suffice.
She further ruled that all the accused persons are Zimbabwean nationals, so they cannot abscond court or interfere with witnesses.
Prosecutor Takudzwa Jambawu opposed bail last week arguing that while the accused had a right to bail, the right was not absolute. He also argued that they were facing public violence charges hence had the potential to endanger public safety.
Jambawu also argued that the accused were warned by police to stop chanting slogans but did not pay heed, hence the State was of the view that if released on bail they may commit the same offence.
However, defence lawyer Tonderai Chikosha argued that his clients should not suffer while waiting for the police to verify their addresses. He said the accused had no pending cases and, therefore, could not abscond.
Allegations are that the 12 Zanu PF members on September 19 this year, unlawfully disturbed peace and security by ignoring a police order to stop demonstrating against the ruling party’s top brass in Harare province.-newsday