CHIREDZI magistrate Tayengwa Chibanda has released on bail one of the villagers arrested in connection with the alleged torching of police vehicles during a protest at Chingwizi holding camp and relaxed the bail conditions of the other 26 after the State consented to the application by the defence team.
Chibanda on Friday ordered the release of Sophia Tagwirei (39), who had been in police custody for over a month, after the State consented that she was not linked to the commission of the offence.
Tagwirei was ordered to pay $30 bail, report once every two weeks at the nearest police station, continue residing at her given residential address, seek police clearance when planning to leave Masvingo province and not to interfere with State witnesses.
Tagwireyi, who was represented by Phillip Shumba, Martin Mureri and Kennedy Masiye of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, had remained in prison after Chibanda denied her bail early last month together with three other Chingwizi villagers.
The State alleged the four masterminded the assault of police officers and burnt police vehicles and rifles when the villagers allegedly protested against the forced relocation of a clinic from Chingwizi Transit Camp to Nuanetsi Ranch.
The court also relaxed the reporting conditions for the 26 other accused persons by allowing them to report once a fortnight on Fridays at Muzhi Police Base near Nuanetsi Ranch rather than walk several kilometres to Triangle Police Station for reporting purposes as had been ordered by the court last month.
The State then remanded the 30 villagers to October 20 when their trial is scheduled to commence.
Three of the 30 accused persons are, however, still in custody.