Judge castigates police in journalist arrest

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By STAFF REPORTER
HIGH Court judge Justice Nyaradzo Priscilla Munangati-Manongwa has slammed arresting officers in the case where journalist Xolisani Ncube is facing armed robbery charges for failing to provide evidence of linking him to the crime.

Ncube was granted $100 000 bail last week by the High Court.

Justice Munangati-Manongwa questioned the State over why it charged Ncube with armed robbery after his defence lawyer Admire Rubaya claimed his client was on a live programme at Newsroom Africa, a South African media house, at the time the crime was committed.

She also said the State failed to produce the CCTV footage it claimed was in its possession, which linked Ncube to the armed robbery.

“Why was the State not willing to avail the CCTV footage if it was there, given that the defence had stated that he was live on TV during the same time of the commission of the robbery,” Justice Munangati-Manongwa queried.

In granting Ncube bail, Justice Munangati-Manongwa said he was gainfully employed with a fixed address, and this should have been taken into consideration by the State when opposing Ncube’s bail.

Allegations are that Ncube, together with his accomplices, went to Andrew Neethling’s place of residence and stole various items at gun point.

In his affidavit to the High Court, Ncube denied the offence saying he never visited that place on his own or with any accomplices.

He submitted that the State arrested his cousin, Clever Mununudzi Nengomasha, who had been on the police wanted list for armed robberies.

Ncube also said he had no pending cases other than the two he was currently accused of, which are Central Investigations Department (CID) Homicide Harare DR 1/4-03/22 ZRP, and Harare Central CR 211/03/22 for the unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition in contravention of section 4(1) of the Firearms Act, Chapter 10:09 and CID Homicide Harare DR 12/02/22 Mabelreign CR 09/02/22.

“I was placed on remand over both charges on the same day. This means there is no pending case at all besides these current two charges and this honourable court ought to consider this critical fact.”

Ncube said he was a relatively well-known journalist who was not on the police wanted list of alleged armed robbers and never had knowledge that there were firearms at his house.

He submitted that during the arrest, he did not fire any shots, but co-operated with the police, adding that it was his cousin Nengomasha who led to the recovery of the said guns at his house as he had no knowledge that he had brought them into his house.

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