One-man demo pastor freed

Bulawayo Bureau
A KARIBA Pentecostal church pastor who was arrested for staging a one-man demonstration against Zanu-PF is finally out on bail after his lawyer successfully applied to have his bail reduced from $500 to $50.

Patrick Mugadza (45) from the Remnant Church in Kariba spent 21 days in remand prison after failing to raise $500.

He was granted $500 bail on December 15 last year.

Mugadza, however, failed to raise the money until New Year’s Eve when Thulani Nkala, his lawyer from Dube and Company, successfully applied for a reduction.

Victoria Falls resident magistrate Lindiwe Maphosa reduced the bail to $50.

In his submissions, Nkala said: “Bail granted to the accused is way too high given the fact that the offence he allegedly committed attracts a fine of less than $300.”

Mugadza was not asked to plead to the offence of criminal nuisance.

His trial starts tomorrow.

Mugadza’s other bail conditions remain unchanged.

The defence lawyer had initially applied for refusal of remand saying there was no basis to prosecute his client because he was exercising his constitutional right when he staged the demon- stration.

The magistrate dismissed the application saying as much as it was a constitutional right to demonstrate, exercising it must not be seen to infringe on other people’s rights.

The court was told that the pastor travelled all the way from Kariba to Victoria Falls to stage the solo demonstration against the party in December, during the 15th Zanu-PF Annual National People’s Conference.

Mugadza was arrested near Bata Building in the resort town after members of the public alerted police.

Meanwhile, a Bulawayo businessman, Ashton Mpofu, has been sued for allegedly failing to settle more than $10 000 of debt owed to a fuel supplier.

Mpofu, of Ashy’s Motors, is being sued by Primero Energy (Pvt) Limited for fuel advanced to him in 2014.

The businessman, who also runs hardwares in the city, is cited as the first defendant while Cusley Investment (Pvt) Limited is the second defendant in the summons filed at the High Court.

Primero Energy is demanding the payment of the debt plus interest as well as the cost of the suit on an attorney to client scale.

“Plaintiff claim against you is for payment of $10 225 – an amount owed to plaintiff by the defendants for diesel and petrol fuel advance supplied to defendants by plaintiff at defendants’ special instance and request,” reads the summons.

According to court papers, in February 2014 Primero Energy Company entered into a credit facility upon request by Mpofu and Cusley Investment to supply fuel on credit.

Mpofu allegedly represented and acted on behalf of Cusley Investment in negotiating the deal.

At the time the agreement was signed, Primero Energy was leasing premises belonging to Mpofu and Cusley Investment operating as a service station in Nkulumane 12.

The summons state that according to the terms of the agreement, the defendants’ vehicles would be supplied with fuel on credit at plaintiff’s service station.

Mpofu and Cusley Investment were to continuously service the account against the fuel supplied.

The court papers show that between May 2 and 21 2014, Primero Energy supplied 3 106 litres of petrol worth $4 566 and 4 195, litres of diesel worth $5 832.

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