HIGH COURT OF ZIMBABWE
HARARE, 20 December 2017 & 5 May 2018
D. Mthombeni, for the appellants
E. Makoto, for the respondent
NDEWERE J: On 7 December 2017, the appellants applied for bail in the magistrate court and it was denied. The reasons given for denial of bail were that they were facing a serious offence and the evidence against them was overwhelming and a lengthy sentence was likely upon conviction such that if they were released on bail, they would be motivated to abscond from the jurisdiction of the court. The magistrate said when faced with overwhelming evidence of the commission of the offence, the presumption of innocence in favour of the accused is torn apart. The magistrate also referred to the threats to witnesses as testified to by the investigating officer in his affidavit.
The appellants noted an appeal against the refusal of bail on 15 December, 2017. The grounds of appeal were that the allegations of likelihood to abscond and of there being strong evidence against the appellants were bald assertions without any evidence to support them. They said there was no evidence that the appellants were a flight risk and there was no evidence that the case against them was very strong since investigations were still continuing. They said the court erred in refusing the appellants bail because they were facing a serious offence and that the likely sentence will be lengthy if convicted. They also said the court erred in ignoring the fact that both appellants co-operated fully with the police, voluntarily presenting themselves to the police on several occasions and proceeding to court from home on two occasions before