The High Court yesterday dismissed the bail application of 11 of the 16 Nyatsime CCC activists who are currently detained at Harare Remand Prison on allegations of incitement to violence.
Justice Fatima Maxwell who heard their appeal said that she wasn’t convinced that there was a misdirection by the Magistrates’ Court that denied bail to the 11.
Speaking outside the high court after the hearing, Adv Wilbert Mandinde who is representing the 11 said, “We have just come out of Court before Justice Maxwell where we dealt with the case involving Precious Jeche and 10 others from Nyatsime who are currently at Harare Remand Prison facing charges of public violence.
“We were appearing before the court this morning to make an appeal against the refusal of bail in the magistrate’s court. Our appeal was unfortunately refused. The appeal was refused, with Judge Maxwell ruling that she was not convinced that there was any misdirection by the magistrate’s court.
“This is not good news at all. It’s sad news taking into account the number of days that the accused persons have been in custody now. We will sit down as the legal team. We will speak to the clients and we will take appropriate measures. We will work towards ensuring that our clients eventually exercise and enjoy the right to appeal as enshrined in terms of the constitution.”
The 11 activists were arrested in late June this year and have spent about 60 days in prison without tria. Repeated appeals for freedom have failed.
The CCC members are accused of destroying houses and shops, and setting on fire the house of the ZANU PF Chairperson for the Nyatsime area on 14 June this year during the funeral of slain fellow activist Moreblessing Ali. The 16 include outspoken CCC MP and interim Deputy Chairman Job Sikhal,a who is imprisoned without trial at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison together with fellow lawmaker Godfrey Sithole.
The denial of bail to the Nyatsime 16 was over the past day contrasted sharply with the swift granting of bail to Zanu-PF legislator Justice Mayor Wadyajena who is accused of fraud and money laundering in a USD5 million corruption case.
CCC has continued to call for the release of the Nyatsime 16 accusing the government of political persecution and using the lawfare to fight the main opposition ahead of the 2023 elections.