Five Mutare land barons denied bail

FIVE Mutare residents who illegally parcelled out residential stands on land that was set aside for educational institutions were today denied bail and were remanded in custody to December 29.

Binali Yard (48), Trust Mutima (39), Webster Mudzimwa (39), Tawanda Ndawe (42) and Brian Marange (59), appeared before Mutare provincial magistrate, Mr Tendai Mahwe who remanded them in custody to December 29.

They were not asked to plead to contravening Section 24 (1) as read with Section 24 (4) of the Regional Town and Country Planning Act, Chapter 19:12 (Unlawful carrying out development without permission) or alternatively criminal trespass as defined in Section 132 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Chapter 9:23 when they initially appeared before Mr Mahwe on Wednesday.

Mr Mahwe adjourned the bail ruling to Thursday (yesterday), before rolling it over to today.

In denying them bail, Mr Mahwe said Yard once fled from the police after a high-speed chase in Mutare.

He also stated that police had failed to arrest the five since September, and it had to took the intervention of law enforcement agents from Harare to bring them to book.

The court also ruled that Yard once threatened some witnesses from Mutare City Council who are the complainant, hence if granted bail, the accused persons might use their political influence to threaten witnesses.

The five were represented by Mr Chris Ndlovu of Gonese and Ndlovu Legal Practitioners, while Mrs Tadiwanashe Muuya represented the State.

Mr Ndlovu said he will approach the High Court for the five’s bail application.

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