Major Felix Tengemhare, 52, of Rimuka Salvation Army who is jointly charged with his wife, Benina Tengemhare, for tearing 19 Z$50 notes during a church service, was yesterday denied bail and the couple had to spend another night behind bars.
The couple appeared before a Kadoma magistrate, Paul Mudoni who remanded them in custody to 13 January 2023.
Representing the State, Kadoma National Prosecution Authority Officer Caroline Tinarwo said the couple were of great influence in the church and had committed a serious offence hence granting them bail would make people lose confidence in the bail system.
“The state is opposing bail on the grounds that the couple are church leaders at Salvation Army and have some influence in the congregants, their action was to show that the local currency was a symbol of poverty and have a potential to incite the people to rise against the government. If given bail, society might lose confidence in the bail-granting system.”
According to Section 42 of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Chapter 22:15, “Any person…..who wilfully defaces, soils or damages any banknotes or writes or places any drawing thereon or attaches thereto anything in the nature of an advertisement…..shall be guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for a period not exceeding seven years.
In Zimbabwe, banknotes includes any banknote which has at any time been a legal tender.