Teachers union leader Obert Masaraure gets bail after July 8 arrest

HARARE – Tormented Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) president Obert Masaraure has been granted Z$50,000 bail by High Court judge Rodgers Manyangadze in a case in which the activist is being accused of inciting public violence.

This follows a successful appeal for freedom filed through his lawyer Tapiwa Muchineripi.

The firebrand teachers union leader is accused of tweeting offensive material demanding the release of his union colleague Robson Chere.

Chere had been arrested on allegations of murdering a fellow ARTUZ member back in 2016, a charge Masaraure himself had earlier been arrested for and is still to defend against.

In granting Masaraure bail, Manyangadze agreed with the defence’s contention that judicial officials were being swayed by public opinion in decisions they took within courts of law.

The judge, Muchineripi later told journalists while recounting court proceedings, “said it will be a sad day in justice if this was to be followed”.

“We are elated the High Court judge Justice Rodgers Manyangadze has handed down the ruling in our favour.

“Masaraure has been ordered to pay Z$50,000 with the clerk of court at Rottenrow Court and it has been ordered that he resides at his given address and reports once every Friday at Harare  Central Law and Order,” he said.

“The judge found that the court aquo erred in denying the appellant bail on grounds that he was a danger to the society and that he was a serial offender, an argument which was shot down by the judge on grounds that he has no single conviction.”

Added the lawyer, “The judge said magistrates and judges, being judicial officers, were legally trained to deal with facts before them and be guided by the law.

“The judge said judicial officers’ judgements should not be influenced by public opinions.”

Masaraure has several cases pending before the courts including subversion, murder and participating in a gathering in breach of Covid-19 regulations.

He was arrested on July 8 on this latest charge.

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