4 more Zim activists get bail

Harare – Leading Zimbabwean human rights campaigner Jestina Mukoko and four other activists were freed on bail on Monday, in cases seen as a test of the new unity government, their lawyers said on Monday.

The five were each ordered to pay $600 in bail and to surrender their passports, their lawyers said.

Mukoko’s arrest in December sparked an international outcry, after state security agents took her from her home and kept her at a secret detention camp for weeks.

She was the most prominent among 31 jailed activists whose detention had raised concerns about the success of Zimbabwe’s new unity government with long-time President Robert Mugabe and new Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

"It’s good she has been released, but she is still restricted," her lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa said.

Mukoko is the head of the Zimbabwe Peace Project, which documented human rights abuses surrounding last year’s controversial elections.

Another attorney, Alec Muchadehama said four supporters of Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) were also granted $600 bail on Monday. Their release followed that of two other MDC activists granted bail on Friday.

Zimbabwe still has 24 activists behind bars, the lawyers said. – AFP