The granting of bail to notorious armed robber Musa Taj Abdul alias Musa Mohammed (47), who has been on the wanted list for 20 years, just before the festive season by the High Court has raised a few eyebrows.
Justice Benjamin Chikowero granted Abdul and his two co-accused Godfrey Mupamhanga (27) and Rudolf Tapiwa Kanhanga (29) bail on Monday.
Adbul and Mupamhanga were granted $5 000 bail each while Kanhanga was released on $2 000 bail.
The suspected serial robbers had been on the run for 20 years and were arrested in Beitbridge in August after an exchange of fire with police detectives.
As part of their bail conditions, Justice Chikowero ordered the trio to reside at their given address and report to the police every Friday between 6 am and 6 pm until the matter has been finalized.
Commenting on the hardcore criminals’ release from remand prison without even being ordered to surrender their passports and title deeds to their houses, University of Kent Law Lecturer Alex Magaisa wrote on Twitter:
I would like to read this judgment because it looks odd. A suspected armed robber who’s been on the run is not required to surrender the passport. He doesn’t have one? He’s required to pay just over US$60! Someone like Hopewell Chin’ono had to surrender title deeds to his home!
Add to that this chap was only arrested following a shootout which suggests he was resisting arrest. I am all for recognising the right to bail but on the face of it, this case looks dodgy. This chap will do a runner and if I were a betting man, I would put a wager on it!
Zim Morning Post editor Elias Mambo argued that though bail is a constitutional right, granting it to someone who has been a fugitive from justice for two decades is incredible. He tweeted:
Yes, bail is a constitutional right but granting it to someone who was on the run for 20 years is unbelievable.. worse to someone arrested after a gunfire exchange with police… Justice sold to the highest bidder.