Exiled CCC activist seeks virtual trial

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Netsai Marova

BY PRIVELEDGE GUMBODETE

CITIZENS’ Coalition for Change (CCC) activist Netsai Marova, who is believed to have skipped the border, has requested Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi to set up a virtual court trial after a Harare magistrate issued an arrest warrant for her.

Marova is jointly charged with two other CCC activists Joanna Mamombe and Cecilia Chimbiri for allegedly faking their abductions in 2020.

The trio was initially arrested for protesting what they saw as the authorities’ failure to provide social protection during COVID-19 lockdowns in Zimbabwe.

They were later arrested for faking their abductions.

Marova said she was not on the run, but wanted a virtual trial to clear her name while pursuing her academic studies.

“Firstly, it should be known that I did not abscond any court. Despite charges being levelled against me, the fabric of my social life must still be maintained. The oppressive bail conditions were making it difficult and all attempts to have them relaxed to enable me to proceed with my academic pursuits failed,” Marova told NewsDay Weekender from her undisclosed hideout.

“The trial against me can still proceed as the law allows virtual court sittings and indeed Minister Ziyambi alludes to these. If he is sincere, he could arrange for these virtual sittings in my case and I will gladly attend.

“On completion of my studies, I am determined to return home and have my name cleared and continue with my life. Regrettably, the conditions imposed by the State made it impossible for me to continue with my life while answering to their malicious charges at the same time.”

Ziyambi, while presenting a statement during a United Nations Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review in Geneva recently, accused Marova and her co-accused of faking their disappearance to tarnish the image of government.

But Marova said: “Their express denials of the enforced disappearances and their bid to accuse me of false abduction is, in fact, one of the key features that constitute the crime of enforced disappearance.”

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