Bennet bail conditions relaxed

HARARE – The bail conditions of the Deputy Agriculture Minister Roy Bennet, who is facing charges of contravening sections of the Public Order and Security Act, for being found in possession of dangerous weapons meant to commit acts of banditry, insurgency, sabotage, and terrorism, has been relaxed at the Mutare Magistrates’ Court.\r\n

Mutare Magistrate Lucy Mungwari, who presided over the case today when Bennet appeared for his routine remand hearing, had to relax Bennet’s reporting conditions from 3 days a week to 1 day a week after both the defence and state conceded to alter the reporting conditions.

Bennet will now report at the Harare Central CID Law and Order Section every Friday, following an agreement between the defence team represented by Trust Maanda and Tawanda Zvekare, Chief Law officer from the Attorney General’s Office.

Magistrate Mungwari remanded Bennet out of custody to the 1st of July, and it is expected that by then the state will come up with a trial date.

The defence council, represented by Trust Maanda, said they have agreed with the state to give Bennet a long remand period such that by the next remand date the state should have finalized their case and come up with a trial date.

The defence told the court that if the state fails to provide a trial date in July they will vigorously oppose any further remand and will apply for the removal of Bennet from remand.

Magistrate Mungwari said since the state has made an undertaking to finalise the matter and come up with a trial date for Bennet during the next remand date in July, it should be taken seriously.

Roy Bennet fled the country in 2006 when the police were looking for him in connection with the discovery of arms cache at Peter Hitchmann’s house, which included an AK 47 rifle, 4 FN riffles, 7 Uzis, 19 pistols and revolvers, 11 shotguns and an assortment of ammunition.