Paul Pindani in Chinhoyi
A councilor with the Municipality of Chinhoyi, who had been incarcerated for resisting arrest and beating up a police officer, together with his accomplices heaved a sigh of relief when the high court consented to their bail application pending appeal.
Voster Mashevedzanwa, a councilor for ward 11, and his accomplices were last month sentenced to 48 months imprisonment by Chinhoyi Magistrate, Tendai Banda.
However, Banda suspended 12 months of the sentence for five years.
Their lawyer, Fortune Murisi, of Murisi and associates, who argued the bail application on behalf of other lawyers told H-METRO that he had successfully applied for bail pending appeal at the high court before Judge Chitapi.
“Basically what is happening is that our clients were convicted and sentenced some time last month at Chinhoyi Magistrate Court. So they noted an appeal against both sentence and conviction.
“The appeal is yet to be heard, maybe at the end of the year or next year. There are going to be delays because of this Covid-19 pandemic. But, meanwhile, we applied for bail pending appeal because the appeal may take long to be heard, he said.
Murisi said that the bail pending appeal was granted .
“The applicants are now out of custody after having paid their bail.
“They were made to pay $1000 each and to report to Chinhoyi Central Police station once every Friday and to continue residing at their given addresses,” said Murisi.
He said that the reasons why their clients were given bail was that the appeal had a prospect of success.
“So the judge noted that the appeal is arguable and there are chances that they will succeed on their appeal against both sentence and conviction.
“The state also conceded that indeed there were imperfections in the evidence of the witnesses. The state also conceded that the sentence were excessive and that they were some material irregularity committed by the trial court as regards the sentence,”
“So those concessions by the state are indicators that the appeal is arguable.”
Murisi said that he could not be so certain because the matter was still pending.
“When we talk about a pending matter we are also very careful not to pre- judge; they say the appeal is arguable and that is why the court granted them bail pending appeal, ” he said.
Murisi said that the appeal was yet to be heard and that they had not failed when their clients were convicted.
“Basically, there is nothing called failing. It’s only that most people talk about these things yet they don’t have knowledge about these things.
“When a matter goes on appeal . When you are arguing bail pending appeal , you mainly focus on prospects of success. Where we are saying the lower court erred in conviction and also erred in sentence. So the appeal court is focusing on the four corners of the record and the same applies with the bail court,” he said.