Activist in third bail bid

ZIMRIGHTS’ education and programmes manager Leo Taurai Chamahwinya yesterday made a third attempt to be released following Tuesday’s granting of bail to his boss Okay Machisa by the High Court.


REPORT BY PHILLIP CHIDAVAENZI SENIOR REPORTER

He argued that his case should be treated in the same manner as that of Machisa, the ZimRights director.

In his written submissions to magistrate Tendai Mahwe, Chamahwinya’s lawyer Admire Rubaya argued that since his client faced similar allegations to Machisa’s, the courts should treat him similarly.

The accused — together with Machisa, Farai Bhani, Tatenda Chinaka and Dorcas Shereni — faces allegations of manufacturing fake voter registration certificates and is charged under one record CRB 10642-5/12 with the others.

“The applicant’s co-accused colleague Okay Machisa has been granted bail and the other applicant should be treated in the same manner as his co-accused person and be admitted to bail mainly because they face the same charges. This honourable court should treat them in the same manner given that this honourable court denied them bail on essentially the same grounds,” Rubaya said.

Machisa was granted bail after High Court judge Justice Felistus Chatukuta ruled in his favour. Rubaya yesterday argued that the changed circumstances warranted his client’s admission to bail.

He also noted that his co-operation with the police at the time of his arrest at their offices in Harare indicated that he never attempted to flee and responded to the police’s invitation.

He further pointed out that the fact his client was a subordinate to Machisa made him a suitable candidate for bail.

The human rights activist faces charges of fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud or alternatively publishing or communicating information prejudicial to the State. Prosecutor Michael Reza yesterday indicated he would oppose the application.

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