Court refuses to release Mamombe passport

Joanah Mamombe is charged alongside Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova

HARARE magistrate Stanford Mambanje has dismissed an application by opposition legislator Joanah Mamombe to have her passport released to allow her to travel to Kenya for a democracy conference.

Mamombe is facing charges of faking her own abduction. She is charged alongside Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova who has since skipped the borders.

In his ruling, Mambanje said there must be a solid justification before such an application is granted.

“Bail is a means of procuring the release of a prisoner from legal custody upon posting sufficient security, for his (/her) appearance at a time and place designated, to answer to a criminal charge,” he ruled.

“If the court is then to willy-nilly uplift such caveats, then the whole purpose of recognisance is put to naught. In casu, the applicant is well aware of her limitations. Regardless, she proceeds to embark on extraterritorial fellowship applications.”

He also said the Kenyan invitation was at her instigation.

“She made an application to be invited, I have no doubts that there are plenty of these and her decision to go on board such tertiary fellowships is more of a frolicsome attempt. She ought to have waited for the case to complete, secure her full freedoms then start on these at a suitable time.

“The State, at one point had three accused persons. They consented to a similar request and the applicant never returned... this argument is not meant to punish the applicant for the wrongs of a co-accused,” Mambanje added.

Mamombe, through her lawyer, Jeremiah Bhamu, said she was in desperate need of her passport to attend the conference.

Bhamu told the court that his client was not seeking to travel for leisure.

Deputy Prosecutor General Micheal Reza opposed the application.

Reza also said Mamombe was not part of the key figures for the conference, hence her absence would not affect the conference programme.

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