By Kumbirai Mafunda
Two civil society leaders who were arrested last month and charged with subverting constitutional government have been set free after High Court Judge Justice Amy Tsanga granted them $1 000 RTGS bail and imposed some stringent reporting conditions for them.
The two CSO leaders Beauty Rita Nyampinga aged 61 years and Stabile Dewa aged 34 years, had been detained at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison and at Parirenyatwa Hospital after they were arrested by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers on Tuesday 28 May 2019 upon arrival at Robert Mugabe International Airport and charged with subverting constitutional government as defined in section 22(2)(a)(iii) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
Nyampinga, the Director of Female Prisoners Support Trust and Dewa, the Director of Women’s Academy for Leadership and Political Excellence, were also charged with inciting public violence as defined in section 187(1)(b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act as read with section 36(1)(a) of the of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
While the State had initially opposed the admission of Nyampinga and Dewa on bail, it later made an about-turn and advised Justice Tsanga that it was no longer challenging the placement of the duo on bail considering that the CSO leader’s co-accused persons namely George Makoni, Tatenda Mombeyarara, Gamuchirai Mukura and Frank Nyasha Mpahlo, had been granted bail on Friday 7 June 2019 and hence there was no basis for opposing bail.
Justice Tsanga ordered Nyampinga and Dewa to report everyday at ZRP police stations including continuing to reside at their given residential addresses until the case is finalised and not to interfere with witnesses and police investigations.
Justice Tsanga indicated that the CSO leaders can apply at the High Court after Friday 21 June 2019 for consideration of the variation of their stringent reporting conditions.