Mamombe , Chimbiri challenge court case

MDC Alliance youth activists Joana Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova have filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court seeking to stop their trial for allegedly publishing falsehoods.

The trio, through lawyer Alec Muchadehama, is also seeking the recusal of the presiding magistrate, Bianca Makwande, and Prosecutor Michael Reza accusing the two court officials of taking their trial personally.

In their High Court application, they argued they would never see justice delivered as long as Makwande and Reza continued handling the case.

They said their fears are strong to the extent the sight of Makwande and Reza made them shiver.

“We protested that we could not properly plead to the charges given our so many misgivings in the matter but Makwande forced us to plead to the changes that had been put to us,” Mamombe, a Harare West MP, said in her founding affidavit.

“When we pleaded, the time was now around 18:37 pm. To say that I was shocked at what I witnessed on April 28 is an understatement. I became so afraid of Makwande and Reza that I concluded that there are chances of ice in hell if I would get justice before these two.”

The lawmaker added; “My co-applicants were equally apprehensive. I could see Chimbiri sweating during the proceedings whilst Marova was shivering in the corner in fear of what was panning before us.

“We all came to the conclusion that our matters had been predetermined by Makwande and that we were not going to get a fair hearing before her.”

The three are accused of faking their abduction last year, and blaming state security agents for their ordeal.

They allege the abduction happened a few hours after they had joined fellow MDC Alliance youths in staging a demonstration in Harare’s Warren Park suburb in breach of Covid-19 regulations.

They also face a separate charge of breaching Covid-19 restrictions. The urgent chamber application is yet to be heard.

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