A civil engineer in Bulawayo yesterday heaved a sigh of relief after he was granted $50 bail in a case where he was charged with interfering with President Robert Mugabe’s motorcade on Friday and spent three nights in police custody.
Report by Richard Muponde Senior Court Reporter
Prayer Gavhanga (27) of Magwegwe West, was not asked to plead to contravening section 72 (1) of the Road Traffic Act (failure to comply with lawful instructions given by a police officer controlling traffic), when he appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Evelyn Mashawakure. However, Gavhanga indicated that he was not admitting to the charges.
In addition to bail, he was ordered to report once a week at the Criminal Law and Order section, which deals with such traffic offences.
Gavhanga’s lawyer, Zibusiso Dube, had applied for bail arguing that his client was a good candidate for bail and that ordinarily such offences were dealt with at police level where a fine was paid as a penalty.
He said if one denied the charges he would be released and summoned to appear in court, but his client was incarcerated since Friday.
State counsel Grace Zhou did not oppose bail, but had submitted that Gavhanga must report twice a week and also surrender his travel documents. But the magistrate dismissed her application on the basis that the matter was not a serious offence.
Charges against Gavhanga are that on Friday last week at Ascot shopping centre, he was signalled to pull off the road by one Sergeant Jeche, who was part of Mugabe’s escort.
However, he allegedly continued driving along the road behind Jeche and interfered with the motorcade.