MASVINGO - MDC Alliance national organising secretary Godfrey Kurauone has today, September 01, cloaked 33 days in remand prison but the State is not yet ready with his docket, TellZim can report.
Kurauone was arrested on July 31, the day that was scheduled for the national demonstrations which were, however, foiled after government heavily deployed security forces in all towns and cities.
He was accused of endangering public safety by burning tyres, and of obstructing the free movement of traffic by blocking the Mashava - Zvamahande Road as part of his own participation in the stalled demonstrations.
When Kurauone was arrested, he was out on bail on charges of undermining the authority of the President and criminal nuisance. In the evening of July 31, Kurauone, in the company of his lawyer Martin Mureri, reported to the Law and Order Section of Masvingo Central Police Station as part of his bail conditions and that is when he was detained.
The two separate cases are now before the courts after Magistrate Patience Madondo denied him bail on August 03 on the second case and ordered him to return to court on August 18.
Kurauone’s lawyer Mureri, instructed by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), then applied for bail at the High Court.
On August 12, High Court Judge Justice Neville Wamambo postponed the bail hearing by 24 hours to August 13 and Kurauone was sent back to remand prison.
The next day, Justice Wamabo turned down the bail application on the grounds that Kurauone had allegedly committed an offence while out on bail in connection with an offense of a similar nature.
After the High Court denied him bail, all options became closed and he had to return to the Magistrates’ Court on August 18 as initially ordered by Magistrate Patience Madondo.
However, Kurauone was to encounter more grief on the day after the State requested for a postponement, claiming that they had not yet received the docket from the police.
The magistrate consented to the State’s request and Kurauone was sent back to remand prison.
The case was due to proceed at the Magistrates’ Court today, September 01, at 09:00hrs but it failed to kick off after the State yet again claimed that they had not yet received the docket. The case was, therefore, postponed by a few hours to 11:15hrs.
At 11:15hrs, however, the State – yet again – claimed they were not yet ready with the docket so the case was moved forward by a few more hours to 14:00hrs.
At 14:00hrs, Kurauone's case was again postponed to tomorrow, Sept 02, after the State claimed that the police needed to first record a witness' statement. The witness in this instance is a police officer.
Defence lawyer Mureri said he was convinced the State was just playing games as a way to fix his client.
“They do not have any solid case and they do not have any evidence. That is why they do not want the case to be tried; it’s a way of fixing him. We are coming back tomorrow so that we agree on a date when the case will be heard without further delay,” Mureri told members of the media outside of the court.
Meanwhile, Kurauone appeared in the same court on August 25 in connection with the first case of undermining the President and criminal nuisance.
The case was postponed to September 24 after the State argued that it did not have authority to prosecute Kurauone.
The State requested that they be given 30 days to request for permission to prosecute Kurauone from the office of the Prosecutor General (PG) in Harare.
The court accepted the State’s request and the case was postponed to September 24, meaning Kurauone would have spent 56 days in remand prison on that day.