HARARE, Joana Mamombe, a member of parliament for the main opposition Citizens’Coalition For Change CCC and victim of oppression, has been denied a temporary release of her passport to attend a training conference in Kenya. The decision was made by Harare magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje, who dismissed Mamombe’s application for a variation of her bail conditions.

Mamombe, who is facing allegations of faking her abduction with two others, had sought to travel to Kenya for a training conference but had not given an adequate reason to vary her bail conditions, according to Mr Mambanje. He added that there must be a solid justification before such an application was granted and that a leisure visit would not justify lifting a bail condition against an accused person.

The State had three accused facing trial in the case, including Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri, and Netsai Marova. Marova’s application to be allowed to travel outside the country was consented to by the State, but she never returned. While Mamombe could not be punished for the wrongs of a co-accused, the court heard that the danger of non-return did exist.

Mamombe’s lawyer, Mr Jeremiah Bhamu, told the court that his client was not seeking to travel for leisure, but the training was important for her personal growth as a legislator. However, Deputy Prosecutor-General Mr Michael Reza opposed the application, saying Mamombe was going for leisure and therefore not fit to get temporary release of her passport. Mr Reza added that Mamombe was not part of the training management, so her absence would not affect the conference.

Mamombe’s case has received widespread attention in Zimbabwe and internationally, with many human rights groups and political figures calling for her release. Mamombe, along with Chimbiri and Marova, were allegedly abducted, sexually assaulted, and tortured by state security agents in May 2020, leading to widespread condemnation. Mamombe has maintained her innocence and said the charges against her are politically motivated. The denial of her temporary passport to attend a training conference is seen by some as another example of oppression against her.

Source -MasimbaNews ✍🏿

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