FOUR suspected Zanu PF activists have approached the High Court seeking to be granted bail after their initial application was turned down when they appeared at the Rusape Magistrates’ Court charged with kidnapping and robbery.
Lovemore Mutanhaurwa (30), Benedict Kondongwe (49), Jephita Matanda (44) and Farai Matsika (23) last month appeared in court for allegedly taking hostage an unnamed complainant, placing him in the boot of a car, beating him up and later robbing him of his $178 cash.
The incident is alleged to have occurred on June 18 this year at Chiduku business centre when the four men approached their victim and introduced themselves as Zanu PF officials on a tour of duty.
At around 11pm, it is alleged, the bar lady asked everyone to leave as she was closing the bottle store at which time the complainant went out and was forcibly grabbed and handcuffed by Kondongwe, Matanda and Matsika.
The three men placed the complainant in Matanda’s vehicle boot and drove off towards Rusape for about five kilometres.
After crossing Mvuranhema River, it is alleged, they stopped the car, disembarked and pulled the complainant out and attacked him indiscriminately all over his body.
Mutanhaurwa is then said to have removed the handcuffs and dumped the complainant in the drainage system near Mavhudzi business centre where he spent the night in the cold.
The following morning, the State alleges, the complainant woke up only to discover he no longer had his cash amounting to $178, spectacles and a woollen hat.
The matter was reported to the police, leading to the suspects’ arrest. In denying them bail the magistrate said the circumstances under which the offence was committed were likely to induce a sense of shock and outrage in the community which could lead to public disorder if he was to allow them out on bail.
“The sense of peace of the public will definitely be undermined and the accused’s release will jeopardise public confidence in the criminal justice system. The court finds that it is not in the interest of justice that the accused persons be released on bail,” the magistrate said.
The matter is still pending.