Kuwait embassy official, Brenda Avril May, who is being charged with human trafficking, was yesterday released on $500 bail coupled with reporting conditions, after the State failed to convince the court to keep her in custody.
by PAIDAMOYO MUZULU
In his ruling, Harare magistrate Elijah Makomo said bail was now a constitutional right that could only be denied if cogent and compelling reasons were proffered to the court.
“I think time has come that both the State and police to be reminded that the seriousness of an offence does not suffice to deny bail. More so, in this day and age of a new Constitution that says bail is a constitutional right,” he ruled.
During the bail hearing, the investigating officer, one Sergeant Garauzive, had insisted that the seriousness of the offence was enough to deny bail.
“There are no compelling reasons placed before this court to curtail the accused’s right to liberty,” Makomo said.
As part of her bail conditions, May was ordered to report three times a week at CID Law and Order.
She was also ordered to surrender her passport, not to interfere with witnesses and to reside at her given address.
Earlier, Makomo had ruled May could approach the High Court to question the validity of her arrest, since she had earlier been released on summons on the same charges by the Prosecutor-General’s Office.
It is the State’s case that May allegedly worked in connivance with Kuwaiti nationals to recruit desperate Zimbabweans under the guise of employment, yet they would be subjected to inhuman treatment upon arrival in the Asian country.
In the State papers, May is alleged to have trafficked Edith Chapo, Stella Juliet Jakarasi and Cynthia Dube to Kuwait last year.
She is accused of having facilitated the processing of visas and air tickets for the alleged victims.
All the women are now back in Zimbabwe after they managed to get in touch with their relatives back home through the country’s embassy in Kuwait.