HARARE: High Court Judge Justice Edith Mushore on Thursday freed former Zanu PF national youth secretary Kudzai Chipanga on bail.
Chipanga, in remand prison for since mid-last month, was released on $500 bail with stringent conditions that will see him reporting to the police twice a day.
He was also ordered to surrender his passport, continue residing at his Greystone home and not interfere with witnesses until his case is finalised.
Charged with publishing falsehoods, Chipanga had initially been denied bail by Harare magistrate Josephine Sande who determined that his life would be at risk if released into the society.
The lower court also ruled that Chipanga was a flight risk and had the capacity to intimidate witnesses. He is being charged together with another senior Zanu PF official, Munyaradzi Hamandishe.
According to the State Chipanga faces up to 20 years imprisonment if convicted.
He is accused of making a speech denigrating Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) commander, General Constantino Chiwenga, in the process supposedly causing disaffection among members of the army and the police.
Chipanga publicly apologised for statement on national television.
His lawyer, Lovemore Madhuku, said his client does not deny making the statement but will challenge the constitutionality of the charges.
âIt is my prayer that the court will never penalise one for making a statement in a democratic society.
âHe will not deny making the statement but will challenge its constitutionality before a constitutional court," said Madhuku.
Chipanga is expected to return to the magistratesâ court Friday for routine remand.
Edmore Nyazamba appeared for the state.
Zanu PF âthugâ freed on bail
A ZANU PF youth leader charged with kidnapping and terrorising party members loyal to former Vice President Joice Mujuru was Thursday freed on $400 bail by the High Court.
Munyaradzi Hamandishe, represented by lawyer Emmanuel Samundombe, successfully applied for bail before Justice Clement Phiri.
Hamandishe is facing six kidnapping counts and one charge of publishing falsehoods. In the latter charge, he is accused together with former Zanu PF national youth secretary Kudzai Chipanga.
Granting bail, Justice Phiri ordered Hamandishe to surrender his passport, rep ort twice a day to the police, continue residing at his given address and not interfere with state witnesses.
The youth leader was arrested last month together with other Zanu PF bigwigs, including former finance minister Ignatius Chombo, as the military took to the streets in an operation that led to the resignation of then president Robert Mugabe.
Chombo is also on remand for fraud, criminal abuse of office and obstruction of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
He initially appeared before a Harare magistrate Hosea Mujaya who denied him bail on grounds that he is facing a serious offence.
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