A Harare magistrate Wednesday ordered the release on bail of four top war veterans accused of insulting or undermining the authority of President Robert Mugabe.
Magistrate Vakayi Chikwekwe granted vice chairperson of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association, Headman Moyo, the organization’s secretary general Victor Matemadanda, the vice chairperson of Harare province Hoyini Samuel Bhila and another Masvingo provincial leader Francis Nhando who are being accused of undermining the authority of Mr. Mugabe, $300 bail each and ordered them to report twice per week at various police stations.
They were also ordered to return to court on the 5th of September for a routine remand.
One of the defense attorneys, Beatrice Mtetwa, said at the next hearing she would raise several issues including the police’s move to deny her access to her clients during detention at various police stations.
She added that she would also raise the issue of whether the acting prosecutor general has the right to prosecute accused persons in terms of the law saying he was not properly sworn in.
Mtetwa said two more former freedom fighters were arrested at the courts on Wednesday. The state’s crackdown on war veterans was necessitated by a communique released by the former combatants’ body last month calling on President Mugabe to address key issues affecting ordinary Zimbabweans and the welfare of the war veterans.
Political journalist and editor of The Observer newspaper, Barnabas Thondlana, said the continued onslaught on war veterans affects President Mugabe’s so-called legacy. But he was quick to mention that war veterans were getting a taste of their own medicine.
Meanwhile, a ministerial committee set up by President Mugabe to investigate the issues surrounding the fallout with the war veterans is yet to present its findings.