By Staff Reporter
MDC Alliance MPs for Mbizo Constituency Settlement Chikwinya and his Redcliff counterpart Lloyd Mukapiko who are facing charges of subverting a constitutional government and inciting public violence have been further remanded to 8 February.
The duo is being accused of inciting public violence in central Kwekwe on 12 January.
The law makers through their lawyers Takashinga Pamucheche and Wellington Davira of Gundu, Dube, Pamucheche Legal Practitioners made an application for refusal of further remand.
The defense counsel Davira said it was an enfringment of the legislators to be placed under further remand as the State is yet to finalise the matter and also that the case appears to be now handled by the High Court.
The State led by Devine Chagombera had said the defence counsel could not be furnished with state papers as they we being handled by the High Court.
“The State papers are still being prepared by the High Court and we are still awaiting the higher court’s determination. The defence will be availed with the papers upon conclusion of the investigations,” Chagombera said.
The defence team in response indicated that it was strange for the State to place the law makers under further detention if the State is yet to complete investigations.
“The two when they appeared in court for an initial remand on the 19th of January 2019 were remanded in custody. The State undertook to furnish the defence with all state papers.
“According to procedure a date must indicate when investigations should be completed as this can be availed by the investigating officer.
“The liberty of the accused is very important as enshrined in the constitution,” he said.
Davira continued with his submissions, “From this development it is clear that the State is not certain when the investigations will be completed and when it will be ready to furnish defence with State papers.
“On that basis the accused persons are applying for refusal of further remand. They have already endured detention first at the hands of the police in the police cells and now there are enduring pre-trial incarceration.
“Circumstances were the State cannot as of now state the date in which the investigations will be completed it is clear by the submission made that the matter is no longer within his jurisdiction and since the High Court is here not to furnish the court with dates of when investigations might be completed
“Upon these grounds further remand of the accused persons should ne refused And that the State proceed by way of summons as and when the investigations will be completed,” he said.
The State however, argued that there was still enough time as the accused had not been over detained.
“According to law the accused can be placed under remand for two weeks in this regard they have not been over detained. We are therefore applying for further remand,” he said.
Kwekwe Magistrate Story Rushambwa upheld the decision by the court.
“The State had no undertaking to submit papers on the day hence the dismal of the application,” Rushambwa said.
According to the State, the duo incited public violence in central Kwekwe on 12 January 2018 while addressing a meeting at a city pub.
The State went on to further allege that Settlement Chikwinya then went on to write a message on his face book page thanking those who heeded the call for a mass stay away and a total shutdown.