Conrad Mupesa Mashonaland West Bureau
THE 16-YEAR-OLD Chinhoyi girl who was recently fined $15 000 for violating Covid-19 curfew regulations on Saturday has been granted free bail pending appeal by Chinhoyi magistrate, Mr Tendai Banda.
The girl, (identity concealed) of no fixed bode was also facing a 60-day jail term if she failed to pay the fine by 15th day of this month.
Last week, Chinhoyi magistrate’s Ms Melody Rwizi found the girl guilty of contravening Section 25 (2) of Statutory lnstrument (SI) 10/21 for disobeying curfew orders and regulations and was convicted for breaching Section 4 (i)(a) of SI 83/20 that criminalises loitering and unnecessary movement during national lockdown.
Thirty days were set aside by the magistrate for the next two years on condition the girl does not commit a similar offence.
The court heard that on 28 January 2021 at around 11 pm, the girl was arrested when she was loitering at Chinhoyi’s Gadzema main bus terminus in the company of two unidentified men.
The two men escaped.
She was taken to Chemagamba Police Station where she was charged for breaching the on-going curfew meant to curtail the spread of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Nyasha Sibesha prosecuted.
Representing the girl, Justice for Children represented by its lawyer Ms Pamellah Musimwa, spearheaded the release of the girl on free bail.
The accused has since been taking Kadoma Training Institute under the care Department of Social Welfare.
The lawyer argued that imprisonment should be used as a last resort whilst also taking into consideration the best interests of the child.
JCT, she said, was concerned about the levels of child rights violations that children are being exposed to starting from families, communities, and duty bearers.