$50 bail for solo protest pastor

Leonard Ncube Victoria Falls Reporter
A KARIBA Pentecostal church pastor who was arrested for staging a one-man demonstration against Zanu-PF is finally out on bail after his lawyer successfully applied to have his bail reduced from $500 to $50.

The pastor of the little known Remnant Church in Kariba, Patrick Mugadza, 45, spent 21 days in remand prison after failing to raise $500.

He was granted $500 bail on December 15 last year but failed to raise the money until New Year’s Eve when Thulani Nkala, his lawyer from Dube and Company successfully applied for a reduction.

Victoria Falls resident magistrate Lindiwe Maphosa reduced the bail to $50.

In his submissions, Nkala said: “Bail granted to the accused is way too high given the fact that the offence he allegedly committed attracts a fine of less than $300.

Mugadza has not been asked to plead to the crime of criminal nuisance.

His trial starts tomorrow.

Mugadza’s other bail conditions remain unchanged.

These include residing at his given address, reporting at the nearest police station in Kariba on Mondays, not to interfere with witnesses and to surrender his travel documents.

The defence lawyer had initially applied for refusal of remand saying there was no basis to prosecute his client because he was exercising his Constitutional right when he staged the demonstration.

The magistrate dismissed the application saying in as much as it is a Constitutional right to demonstrate, exercising it must not be seen to infringe on other people’s rights.

The court was told that the pastor travelled all the way from Kariba to Victoria Falls to stage the solo demonstration against the party in December, during the 15th Zanu-PF Annual National People’s Conference.

Mugadza was immediately arrested near Bata Building in the resort town after members of the public alerted the police.

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