HIGH Court judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu yesterday released on bail one of the 29 Glen View MDC-T activists, Synthia Manjoro, who had been in custody for almost eight months over the alleged murder of police inspector Petros Mutedza.
Report by Senior Court Reporter
Manjoro was ordered to pay $500, which was paid when she was initially granted bail last year. She was also ordered to reside at the given address until finalisation of the matter, but the reporting conditions were scrapped.
“By consent, Synthia Manjoro is granted bail on the same terms and conditions that previously prevailed,” Justice Bhunu said.
Manjoro’s release followed the evidence of her brother, Stephen, who testified as a State witness on Tuesday and told Justice Bhunu that his sister was arrested by the police as bait to secure the arrest of her boyfriend, Darlington Madzonga.
Stephen told the court that during the alleged skirmishes that led to Mutedza’s death on May 29 last year, Madzonga was seen driving Manjoro’s car, but later disappeared from the neighbourhood after getting wind that police were keen to interview him over Mutedza’s death.
However, as the trial was set to resume in the morning yesterday, Justice Bhunu asked prosecutor Edmore Nyazamba to clarify the State’s position as regards Manjoro’s bail considering her brother’s evidence which was not rebutted.
“The question of bail still remains alive in this matter given that one of the State witnesses gave completely exculpatory evidence and was not impeached. What it means is that the evidence must be accepted as a complete change of circumstances,” Justice Bhunu said.
The activists’ lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa concurred with the court and in her submission accused Nyazamba of reneging on his earlier promise where he had hinted he would consider bail for some of the accused.
“The State, at one point, hinted it would consider bail for some of the accused persons, but later made a sudden U-turn after this court made a ruling denying accused bail,” Mtetwa said.
As the trial progressed, Detective Chief Inspector Clever Ntini took to the witness stand and told the court that he was in charge of the compilation of the docket and investigations into the matter.
He, however, said his investigations showed that MDC-T Youth Assembly president Solomon Madzore’s alibi was supported by one Dr Munyoro, who attended to his sick wife.
The trial continues today.