Tapfuma denied bail again

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

A HARARE magistrate yesterday dismissed former State Residencies director Douglas Tapfuma’s bail application, saying there were no changed circumstances when he approached the lower court for the second time.

Tapfuma, who is accused of criminal abuse of office after he allegedly imported several vehicles duty-free, was represented by Jonathan Samkange after severing ties with Valentine Mutatu.

He told magistrate Hosea Mujaya that there were changed circumstances in his case, saying when he initially appeared before the same court, he was still at the State Residences, but has since moved to another department.

Tapfuma further told the court that when he initially appeared at the same court, he had no trial date and now has been furnished with a trial date of October 29.

He further said he now had two passports, a diplomatic and ordinary which he offered to surrender for his freedom.

But the State, represented by Clemence Chimbari, opposed bail.

Chimbari said the court had no jurisdiction to entertain his matter since there were no changed circumstances proffered.

Mujaya in his ruling upheld the State’s assertion that Tapfuma failed to proffer changed circumstances in his second bail bid.

After the ruling, Samkange, however, indicated that he would approach the High Court for the second time.

The matter was postponed to October 28 for trial commencement.

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