05 September 2014

CHIREDZI Magistrate Tayengwa Chibanda on Friday 05 September 2014 freed Sophia Tagwirei, one of the Chingwizi internally displaced persons who had been in detention for more than one month after being charged with committing public violence.


Tagwirei was freed on bail after the State Prosecutor sanctioned and consented to the release of the 39 year-old Chingwizi villager after conceding that she was not being linked to the commission of the offence of committing public violence.

Magistrate Chibanda ordered Tagwirei to pay $30 bail, to report once a fortnight at the nearest police station, continue residing at her given residential address, not interfere with State witnesses and to inform the Officer in Charge of the nearest police post of her intention to leave Masvingo province.

Tagwirei, who was represented by Phillip Shumba, Martin Mureri and Kennedy Masiye of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights becomes the 26th Chingwizi villager to be freed after Magistrate Chibanda first granted bail to 26 other villagers who were arrested on 03 August 2014 on charges of public violence.


She had remained in prison after Chibanda denied her bail early last month together with three other Chingwizi villagers, who the State claimed masterminded the assault of police officers and burnt police vehicles and rifles when the villagers allegedly protested against the forced relocation of a clinic from Chingwizi Transit Camp to Nuanetsi Ranch where they have now been moved to against their will and without compensation as promised by the government.


Magistrate Chibanda also relaxed the reporting conditions for the 26 Chingwizi internally displaced people by allowing them to report once a fortnight on Fridays at Muzhi police base near Nuanetsi Ranch rather than walk several kilometers to Triangle Police Station for reporting purposes as had been deemed by the court last month.


The alteration of the bail conditions came after the villagers' lawyers applied for the alteration of their clients' bail reporting conditions as some of them were having to walk to Triangle Police Station and hence causing some hardships as some of them are of an advanced stage among them 84 year-old village head Kandros Purazeni.


The State then remanded the 30 villagers to 20 October 2014 when their trial is scheduled to commence.

For more additional updates and interviews contact ZLHR project lawyers and project officers who have been camped in the Lowveld since Thursday 03 September 2014 on +263 773 853 534 or +263 773 855 611.

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