Supreme Court Dismisses Bail Application By Photojournalist

Harare – Supreme Court Chief Justice, Godfrey Chidyausiku on Monday dismissed the bail application filed by freelance photojournalist Shadreck Anderson Manyere.

In justifying his decision, Chief Justice Chidyausiku argued that he had found no evidence that the High Court had misdirected itself in denying bail to the accused in the initial application.

He noted that there was need for a distinction between Manyere’s case and that of his co-accused who were granted bail on March 23,. He said  whereas his co-accused had been implicated on the basis of confessions, Manyere had actually been found in possession of the incriminating evidence.

Chidyausiku said whether the co-accused were suitable candidates for bail had not come into question since there had been no challenge against the judgement by Judge Karwi. He further argued that in the absence of such a challenge or appeal, the Supreme Court could not make a determination on the issue.

Manyere is being represented by Charles Kwaramba and Andrew Makoni.

Makoni informed MISA-Zimbabwe, after the judgement had been handed down, that they would have to go back to their client to get fresh instructions on how to proceed.

Manyere first appeared before the Harare Magistrates Courts on December 24 together with Zimbabwe Peace Project director Jestina Mukoko after he went missing whilst taking his vehicle to a garage in Norton about 40km west of Harare December 13.

He made a bail application to the High Court on February 19 which was dismissed by Justice Yunus Omerjee. However, the same judge later granted him leave to apply to the Supreme Court citing the fact that the court had misdirected itself when it denied bail to the accused.

Manyere is  charged under section 23 (1), (2) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act which criminalises acts of insurgence, banditry, sabotage or terrorism or alternatively Section 143 of the same Act which relates to aggravating circumstances in relation to malicious damage to property.