Prosper Dembedza Court Correspondent
MDC-Alliance national organising secretary and Member of Parliament for Mkoba, Amos Chibaya, yesterday appeared in court on allegations of failing to stop the public from engaging in a demonstration when he was legally obliged to do so.
Chibaya was facing charges of contravening the Public Order and Security Act, Chapter 11:17 “failure to comply with a prohibition notice”, when he appeared before Harare magistrate Mrs Learnmore Mapiye.
The State led by Mrs Franchesca Mukumbiri and Mr Charles Muchemwa opposed bail saying the accused was facing a serious offence.
Mrs Mukumbiri told the court that if convicted the accused person is likely to get a custodial sentence and that might induce him to abscond.
“The State has a strong case against the accused person. The accused person has the propensity to commit a similar offence if he is granted bail,” said Mukumbiri.
She further stated that the accused is on bail on a charge of subverting a constitutionally-elected Government at Gweru Magistrates Court. The State went on to call the investigating officer, Detective Victor Mukohwa, who said the accused was likely to abscond if granted bail.
Chibaya’s lawyer Mr Obey Shava told the court that the State is obligated to give compelling reasons to justify the continued detention of his client.
He challenged the State to produce evidence that the accused will commit a similar offence. He said the charge was completely divorced from what the investigating officer was alleging.
He asked the court grant his client $300 bail, to order him to report once every fortnight at Gweru Central Police Station.
Mrs Mapiye deferred the matter to Monday for bail ruling.
Allegations are that on August 6, Chibaya notified Harare Central Police District of an intended public demonstration to be held in Harare’s central business district on August 16.
It is alleged that on August 15, Chibaya was served with a prohibition notice in terms of the law.
On August 16, Chibaya allegedly caused members of the public to gather for a public demonstration at corner Jason Moyo Avenue and Sam Nujoma Street in defiance of the said prohibition notice by the regulating authority.
The State alleges that Chibaya, as the convenor of the public demonstration, failed to comply with the prohibition notice.