Tsvangirai's intervention rescued Jestina Mukoko and Others – Maridadi

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s spokesman James Maridadi said the release followed the reinstatement of the same bail conditions that prevailed before their incarceration on 5 May 2009 by Harare Magistrate Catherine Chimanda.

The revocation of bail conditions of Jestina and others and their subsequent detention featured prominently on the agenda of the Principals on 5 May 2009 when they met to discuss outstanding Global Political Agreement GPA issues.

Maridadi said where an accused person appears at the Magistrates Court for the purposes of being served with indict papers, the Public Prosecutor dealing with the case immediately contacts the Attorney General’s Office for directions

"If the accused person has not violated any of their bail conditions the normal practice is that the Attorney General’s Office consents to the accused person being granted bail on either similar or other conditions that the office may deem fit.

In practice there is rarely any need for an accused person who has adhered to their bail conditions to be remanded in custody upon being given indict papers pending a fresh bail application in the High Court," he said.

He said according to the law, where an accused person has been charged with an offence, which can be tried in the High Court, he/she may be granted bail by the Magistrates Court.

The bail conditions so granted in the Magistrates Court remain in operation until the accused person is served with indictment papers to appear on a specified date for his trail in the High Court.

At that stage the accused person is summoned to the Magistrate Court and is formally served with the said papers.

Upon the indict papers being served that accused person’s bail is immediately revoked and they are remanded in custody pending a fresh bail application in the High Court

Maridadi said in the case of Mukoko and others, the accused persons were granted bail in the Magistrates Court in January 2009 with the Attorney General’s consent.

They subsequently appeared in the Magistrates Court for routine remand on a number of occasions between January 2009 and May 2009. During that period they adhered strictly to their bail conditions until 5th May 2009, when they were served with their indict papers. Notwithstanding the fact that they had not violated any of their bail conditions the accused persons were remanded in custody upon being served with indict papers by the Magistrates Court.

Thereafter when the accused defense council petitioned the High Court for bail, the State opposed the application. It is pertinent to mention that the Attorney General’s Office had made undertakings to the effect that the accused persons would not have their bail revoked upon being indicted at the time that they were granted bail in January 2009.

He said the re-arrest flew in the face of the letter and spirit of the Global Political Agreement and had the potential effect to scuttle gains made by the inclusive government.