Nyore Madzianike Senior Court Reporter
Former Zanu PF Youth League commissar, Godfrey Tsenengamu, was yesterday denied bail with the court noting that it was better if he remained in custody for his own protection considering his claims that some people were stalking him while in hiding.
In his bail ruling, Harare regional magistrate Mr Ngoni Nduna said Tsenengamu told the court that he surrendered himself to the police out of fear of the stalkers, and the court was duty bound to safeguard his safety pending trial.
It was also noted that Tsenengamu was on the police wanted list for nearly three months.
He is being charged with incitement to commit public violence with an alternative charge of participating in a gathering with intention to commit public violence.
Mr Nduna noted that Tsenengamu had lied when he claimed to have surrendered himself to the police, when in fact he was running for dear life.
“In opposing bail, the State said accused was in danger as there was unknown people who were stalking him. It is because of this background that he came out of hiding. The accused was at some point among those who were calling on people to participate in an illegal demonstration. It is against that background that the accused was arrested,” said Mr Nduna.
“In his application, the accused said Job Sikhala, who was facing similar allegations was granted bail. It is, however, different in that Sikhala has never been on the run for three months and that his life was not at threat. The accused claims to have freely surrendered himself but it emerged that he was seeking protection. Circumstances forced him to do.
“The threats that he claimed he was receiving are real and they should be recognised. For those reasons, I refuse bail.”
The State had it that on March 1 this year, Tsenengamu posted a video and audio messages on social media, inciting people across the country to participate in the flopped July 31 illegal demonstration.
He is alleged to have said: “From 31 July and beyond, you must know that people will die as never previously witnessed in this country.
“Masses will be beaten heavily; thievery and corruption will increase to unprecedented levels.
“Boys and girls who are in the Diaspora with parents in the country, encourage your parents to attend the protests in their numbers and fight for themselves, fight for you and fight for the country as you are being oppressed in the Diaspora where you are based so that you will be able to come to them.”
The State also alleges that Tsenengamu incited the public using his Twitter handle @GodfreyTsenaz in which he posted: “I am not sure about the results of this approach. Anyway Zimbabwe must win. The Green Revolution is saying corruption and looting must fall on July 31.”
Mr Michael Reza represented the State while Tsenengamu is being represented by lawyer, Mr Harrison Nkomo.