Magistrate throws out ‘Chief’ Chiadzwa’s bail application

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‘Chief’ Newman Chiadzwa will have to appeal against his conviction and a five-year jail sentence while in prison.

Mutare Provincial Magistrate Billard Musakwa on Tuesday threw out Chiadzwa’s application for bail pending appeal.

Chiadzwa’s appeal is expected to be heard at the High Court but no date has been set for the hearing.

Chiadzwa was last week sentenced to five years in jail with hard labour, in addition to a fine of $ 132 764 after he was convicted of illegal possession of 8,6 kg of diamonds.

His lawyer, Chris Ndlovu told NewsDay this week that he would now have to approach the High Court seeking Chiadzwa’s release on bail while he awaits his appeal to be heard.

“He has been denied bail and he is at Mutare Remand Prison,” Ndlovu said.

“We are appealing against the magistrate’s ruling at the High Court,” he added.

Chiadzwa has been held at the Mutare Remand Prison since February 26.

Magistrate Musakwa sent Chiadzwa to jail after a protracted court case. Throughout the trial, Chiadzwa was out of custody on bail.

His liberty was taken away instantly and in dramatic fashion upon conviction.

As soon as the magistrate handed down his verdict, a disbelieving Chiadzwa who was dressed in smart casual, was immediately whisked away by prison guards who led him away to prison.

Chiadzwa rose to prominence after he volunteered damning evidence to a delegation from the Kimberley Processing Certification Scheme, on human rights violations at the Chiadzwa diamond field.

He led the delegation to what he claimed was a mass grave containing bodies of illegal miners and dealers shot by security forces during an operation to rid the area of multitudes of fortune seekers.

Government denied Chiadzwa’s claims and branded him a Western-sent detractor and enemy of the state.