Firebrand lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa on Thursday took a swipe at the magistrates hearing journalist Hopewell Chin’ono’s case for rolling over the bail ruling to Friday morning due to the government imposed covid-19 curfew of 6pm to 6 am.
Mtetwa during a press brief after the court session at the Harare Magistrate court on Thursday said the whole excuse is a mockery of the justice delivery system.
“We find this extremely frustrating because constitutional rights like the right to liberty have now been suspended through failure to make appropriate arrangements if everyone knows that there will be no transport at 3 for staff surely they should make arrangements when it comes to urgent matters like bail to take staff home after hours so that constitutional rights are not deliberately infringed,” Mtetwa said.
Chin’ono’s bail hearing was postponed today after the magistrate stated that the court staff was supposed to close early so that they could get home earlier before curfew time.
Mtetwa said this was a mockery to the fundamental right of liberty.
“It makes a mockery of the need to come to court within 48 hours; it makes a mockery of the fact that bail hearings are an urgent matter,” said the human rights lawyer.
Meanwhile the courts dismissed the bail application of Chin’ono’s co accused Jacob Ngarivhume.
The magistrate said that once given bail Ngarivhume would cause violence through his planned demonstration scheduled for July 31.
The two were arrested on Monday on charges of allegedly calling for a demonstration against corruption.