Joanah Mamombe

Two MDC Alliance legislators, Joanah Mamombe and Godfrey Sithole, have appeared in court charged with subverting a constitutional Government and inciting public violence.

Mamombe (25), who is the legislator for Harare West, appeared before Harare magistrate Mrs Rumbidzai Mugwagwa yesterday.

Sithole appeared before Chitungwiza magistrate, Mrs Winfilder Tiatara, same day.

He is the MDC-A legislator for Chitungwiza North.

They were both remanded in custody.

Mamombe challenged her placement on remand.

She was remanded in custody to today pending the court’s determination.

Sithole case was also rolled over to today for bail ruling.

Through her lawyers Messrs Obey Shava and Jeremiah Bhamu, Mamombe argued that there was no reasonable suspicion that an offence was committed.

She also indicated that her detention, which exceeded the mandatory 48 hours without being brought to court, was a violation of her Constitutional rights.

Mr Shava said his client was arrested on Saturday in Nyanga at around 8:30AM and was brought before a magistrate at around 10AM yesterday.

He said the police officers who arrested Mamombe did not immediately advise her of the charge she was facing.

The prosecutor Mr Charles Muchemwa opposed the application saying the facts outlined by the prosecution disclosed an offence.

“The facts disclose a reasonable suspicion that indeed an offence was committed hence she should be placed on remand.”

On the issue of the 48 hour period, the prosecution called to the witness stand the detective who arrested Mamombe and the investigating officer, who both testified that her rights were not violated.

Detective Constable Dennis Muroiwa told the court that he identified himself when he arrested Mamombe and advised her of the charge she was facing.

Another detective, Rafel Chakama submitted to the court that he brought Mamombe to court yesterday at round 7:45AM hence was still within the 48 hour period since she was arrested at around 8:30AM.

At the Chitungwiza magistrates’ court, Sithole through his lawyer, Mr Alec Muchadehama, pleaded not guilty and applied for bail.

The prosecutor Mr Edmond Ndambakuwa opposed the application arguing that he was a flight risk.

It is the State’s case that on January 14, Mamombe held a presser at Civic Centre, Marlbrough in Harare and urged people to overthrow the Government.

Mamombe together with members of her constituency planned to join hands with other trade unions to coerce and invite them to overthrow a constitutionally elected Government.

She allegedly urged members of her constituency to resort to civil disobedience and demonstrations to shut down Zimbabwe in response to public outcry over fuel price hikes and high cost of living.

The court heard that between January 14 and 16, and in response to Mamombe’s presser, there were violent protests in the country, it is alleged.

Sithole, the State alleged, incited people to break into shops and steal goods during the protests.Herald