Harare West legislator Hon. Joana Mamombe aged 27 years, Cecelia
Chimbiri aged 31 years and Netsai Marova aged 25 years appeared before
Magistrate Makwande after they were arrested by Zimbabwe Republic
Police members and charged with a cocktail of charges including
publishing or communicating false statements prejudicial to the state
as defined in section 31(a)(ii) of the Criminal Law (Codification and
Reform) Act, publishing or communicating false statements prejudicial
to the state as defined in section 31(a)(iii) of the Criminal Law
(Codification and Reform) Act.The trio was also charged with defeating or obstructing the course of
justice as defined in section 184(1)(f) of the Criminal Law
(Codification and Reform) Act.
Prosecutor Charles Muchemwa told Magistrate Makwande that Hon.
Mamombe, Chimbiri and Marova stage managed their abduction and told
falsehoods to their lawyers, relatives and friends that they had been
abducted on 13 May 2020.
Muchemwa said the false statements by the MDC-Alliance youth leaders
attracted some adverse comments from local and international
organisations including from some heads of missions at some foreign
embassies and the United Nations Special Rapporteurs, who condemned
the abduction and torture, thereby tarnishing the image of the country
and affecting the country’s prospects of an economic recovery.
In response to the allegations by Muchemwa, Alec Muchadehama and
Jeremiah Bamu, the lawyers from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights,
representing the trio told Magistrate Makwande that their clients were
being victimised for seeking justice over their abduction, torture and
sexual molestation and that the arrest and prosecution of the trio was
an attempt by Zimbabwean authorities to cover up their abduction and
The lawyers argued that their clients who are victims of abduction and
enforced disappearance and torture had been turned into villains.
While Muchemwa had argued that Hon. Mamombe, Chimbiri and Marova
should be denied bail and detained in prison because they would flee
Zimbabwe with the assistance of some foreign embassies before they
stand trial, Muchadehama and Bamu dismissed the claim as scandalous.
Magistrate Makwande postponed the matter to Monday 15 June 2020 when
she will hand down her ruling on the trio’s bail application.
Hon. Mamombe, Chimbiri and Marova went missing on 13 May 2020 when
they were abducted in Harare and were found on 15 May 2020 after being
dumped in Bindura in Mashonaland Central province.
They have already been charged with committing public violence after
they were arrested on 26 May 2020 for allegedly participating in an
anti-government protest against hunger during the national lockdown
period as defined in section 37 of the Criminal Law (Codification and
Reform) Act and for contravening section 5(3) (a) as read with section
5(1) of Statutory Instrument 99 of 2020 of Public Health (COVID-19
Prevention, Containment and Treatment) (National Lockdown) Order, 2020
and will stand trial in August.