BY BRENNA MATENDERE
MIDLANDS provincial magistrate, Charity Maphosa yesterday dismissed an application by MDC national organising secretary, Amos Chibaya to have his passport released by the court so that he travels abroad on parliamentary business.
The Mkoba legislator’s passport is being held at the courts as part of his bail conditions in a case where he is accused of subverting a constitutionally-elected government.
Charges emanate from an interview he allegedly granted to Daily News and was quoted as having said: “… 2019 is the year that we are going to send [President Emmerson] Mnangagwa packing… We are not going to go on the streets to toyi-toyi, but go straight to State House, because that is where there is the person who stole the elections.”
He denies the charge.
Through his lawyer, Tonderai Chitere, Chibaya applied for the release of his passport so that he can travel to Doha, Qatar, on Parliament business. However, Maphosa dismissed the application saying she needed consent from the Prosecutor-General, Kumbirai Hodzi to grant an order for release of the travel document.
“At law I am not allowed to accede to the application without the personal consent of the Prosecutor-General, because the accused is facing a third schedule offence. Section 116 of the Criminal Law and Codification Act is clear that where an accused is facing a third schedule offence, a magistrate cannot relax bail conditions set already without a personal consent for the same coming from the PG. Accordingly, the application for release of the passport is dismissed,” she said.
Earlier on, public prosecutor Namatirai Chipere told the court that the State’s hands were tied on whether or not to accede to the application by Chibaya, citing the same requirement of consent by the PG.
After the proceedings, Chibaya’s lawyer said he will be taking the application to the High Court, adding that there is no reason why his client should be denied access to the passport when he has proven he wants to use it on Parliament business.