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Joana Mamombe Bid To Get Back Passport Hit A Snag Again!

Joana Mamombe Bid To Get Back Passport Hit A Snag Again!

The application by CCC Member of Parliament Joana Mamombe for the temporary release of her passport to visit Kenya for a training conference has been dismissed by Harare magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje.

Mamombe is facing allegations of faking her abduction together with her two accomplices, one of whom jumped bail and is believed to be outside Zimbabwe, and had sought a variation of her bail conditions so she could travel to Kenya.

Mr Mambanje refused to vary bail conditions since she had not given an adequate reason to him to do so and had applied herself for the invitation to the training conference she wished to attend.

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

A leisure visit would not justify lifting a bail condition against an accused person.

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

Through bail, the court gave liberty to a prisoner facing trial, but at the same time insured their future attendance in court and compelled them to remain within the jurisdiction of the court.

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

The invitation was at her instigation.

“She made an application to be invited,” said Mr Mambanje.

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“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 applications at a suitable time.”

The State’s fears that she could not return for trial were rational.

The State at one point had three accused facing trial in the case – Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova.

Marova’s application to be allowed to travel outside the country was consented to by the State and she never returned.

While Mamombe could not be punished for the wrongs of a co-accused, the danger of non-return did exist, the court heard.

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Her 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.

Deputy Prosecutor-General Mr Micheal Reza opposed the application, saying Mamombe was going for leisure and therefore she was not fit to get temporary release of her passport.

Mr Reza said Mamombe was not part of the training management so her absence would not affect the conference.

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