By Kumbirai Mafunda
Harare Magistrate Barbra Mateko on Tuesday 25 June 2019 dismissed the State’s bid to revoke the bail granted to Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) President Obert Masaraure and to commit him to prison for allegedly violating his bail conditions.
The State had petitioned the Harare Magistrates Court seeking to revoke the bail granted to Masaraure, who is out of custody on bail on charges of subverting constitutional government, after claiming that the trade unionist had breached his bail conditions by not reporting at Zimbabwe Republic Police station in Hwedza and by not residing at Chemhanza High School in Hwedza in Mashonaland East province, where he is employed as a teacher, as ordered by the High Court.
But Masaraure’s lawyers Jeremiah Bamu and Doug Coltart of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) opposed the State’s application arguing that the ARTUZ leader, who was arrested and detained on Friday 21 June 2019, had not breached any of his bail conditions and had religiously reported to the police and was staying at his given residential address.
Magistrate Mateko on Tuesday 25 June 2019 dismissed the State’s application for revocation of Masaraure’s bail conditions and ordered that the ARTUZ leader should regain his liberty which had been curtailed after he was arrested and detained at Harare Remand Prison.
Meanwhile, Harare Magistrate Jessie Kufa on Tuesday 25 June 2019 ordered that His Generation Church leader Pastor Evan Mawarire and Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) President Peter Mutasa should remain on remand after ruling that the passage of five months without placing the two pro-democracy campaigners on trial was not an inordinate delay to warrant their removal from remand.
Pastor Mawarire’s and Mutasa’s lawyers Alec Muchadehama and Tonderai Bhatasara of ZLHR had opposed the continued placement of the duo on remand arguing that the State had taken long in commencing with their trial.
Pastor Mawarire and Mutasa were arrested in January and charged with subverting constitutional government as defined in section 22 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act after they allegedly organised anti-government protests in January with the aim of overthrowing President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration from power.