HARARE – Zimbabwe National Student Union (Zinasu) president Takudzwa Ngadziore was denied bail on Monday after a magistrate said he was a threat to public safety.
Ngadziore was assaulted by state security agents and then handed over to the police on Thursday last week while addressing a news conference within the vicinity of Impala Car Rental, one of whose vehicles was used in the abduction and torture of student Tawanda Muchehiwa.
The 22-year-old Great Zimbabwe University student was charged with participating in a gathering with intent to promote public violence.
Harare magistrate Judith Taruvinga heard Ngadziore’s bail application when he was taken to court last Friday before withholding her ruling.
On Monday, the magistrate said Ngadziore had breached terms of his bail in a previous case in which he was arrested for protesting outside Impala Car Rental premises in Harare.
The court had banned him from going within 100 meters of the car rental company.
“The accused’s conduct undermines the bail system and public security,” said Taruvinga.
The magistrate said it did not require “a rocket scientist to prove that accused has shown a propensity to continue committing the same offence.”
Ngadziore was remanded to October 5 for routine remand.
Prosecutor Idah Maromo had opposed bail on grounds that Ngadziore is a flight risk and also has a propensity to re-offend.
Maromo called Detective Sergeant Lovemore Marwisa, the investigating officer, who also opposed bail on grounds that Ngadziore’s alleged accomplices are still at large.
Ngadziore’s lawyer Webster Jiti insisted his client has a right to demonstrate and petition as provided by the constitution.
“Political activism is not a crime in this country,” the lawyer said.
Jiti also told the court that the news conference was held more than 100 meters from Impala and denied that the event posed a threat to public safety.
He is expected to appeal the refusal of bail at the High Court.