Maguwu’s rights already violated — release him on bail now

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Dear Editor
The Union for Sustainable Democracy is concerned about the refusal by Judge Chinembiri Bhunu to grant bail to Farai Maguwu whose right to liberty was already severely interfered with prior to the initial bail proceedings.
The primary purpose of the right to bail is to mitigate against interfering with an accused person’s freedom. More importantly it is to prevent anticipatory punishment before conviction and sentence. An accused person should not be punished for an offence for which he has not been convicted.
The presumption of innocence is at the heart of every criminal investigation or prosecution. When presiding over a bail hearing a judge is enjoined to strike a balance between, on the one hand, the right to liberty and presumption of innocence of the accused and, on the other hand, whether the interests of justice permit the release of the accused person on bail.
In the main a balance must be struck between protecting the prosecution and investigating the case without hindrance.
There has been a gross miscarriage of justice in this matter. Justice requires the immediate release on bail of Maguwu.
Maguwu was detained for a period far in excess of what the law allows before being taken to court and was also reportedly taken from remand prison unlawfully.
The seriousness of an allegation alone does not constitute sufficient grounds for the refusal of bail.
We call on the magistrate reviewing the bail ruling .

Union for Sustainable
Democracy
www.usd.org.zw, info@usd.org.zw