Harare magistrate Stanford Mambanje has freed University of Zimbabwe law lecturer Fadzai Mahere alongside other six citizens who were arrested in 2020 for allegedly taking part in anti-government protests in July of that same year.
Mahere, who is the spokesperson of the main opposition party in the country (MDC Alliance), Nyasha Musandu, Jessica Drury, Tino Muskwe, Simon Drury, Josse Lotter and Tinashe Murapata have been “under persecution” for over a year, according to the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).
In removing them from further remand, Mambanje ruled that there is no prejudice to be suffered by the State as it can still summon them to court if it intends to pursue prosecution.
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Their lawyers Chris Mhike and David Drury argued there had been an inordinate passage of time without commencement of trial and that there has been significant prejudice suffered by the seven as a result of excessive delay to commence trial.
The lawyers also argued that there are risks to the health and life of the seven as a result of frequent remand court appearances and the non-readiness of the State to commence trial.