Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Misheck Cheda yesterday ordered the release of three Mthwakazi Liberation Front (MLF) leaders, Paul Siwela, Charles Thomas and John Gazi, who had been remanded in custody pending their indictment to the Harare High Court next month.
The three politicians had been languishing at Khami Remand Prison since last week after the State revoked their $2 000 bail order.
Their trial is now set to start on February 7 at the Harare High Court. Siwela (the party’s secretary-general), Gazi (former secretary-general) and Thomas (deputy secretary for security) are facing a treason charge.
The three, represented by Sindiso Mazibisa, were released yesterday after State counsel Whisper Mabhaudi failed to convince the court they were a flight risk.
Before their latest incarceration, Siwela and Thomas were out of custody while Gazi was serving a 10-month jail term for a fraud case. Eleven witnesses have been lined up to testify in their treason case.
The trio has been on remand for the past 11 months awaiting trial following their arrest on charges of distributing flyers deemed to cause alarm and despondency.
It is alleged the flyers encouraged the public and security forces to turn against the government and join “Mthwakazi Republic”, a state which they allegedly want to establish after secession from the rest of the country.