Zvikomborero Parafini 

THE three police officers, who are accused of stage managing a break-in at CID Stores and setting the exhibit room ablaze, were released on bail on Friday, after spending three nights in custody.

The three – Stanley Musekiwa, Takaidza Mugwisi and Masimba Stanley Gwasunda – allegedly stole US$45000 that was being kept in a stove in the exhibit room.

In granting them bail, regional magistrate, Marewanazvo Gofa, said the State failed to provide any compelling reasons warranting the trio’s detention, pending trial. 

“The trio is accused of stage managing a break-in at CID Stores and Busines and stole US$45 000 then set the exhibit room on fire damaging property and other exhibits.

“They have a right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty and bail shouldn’t be denied on flimsy grounds.

“State argued that they might abscond trial if released on bail and that they may interfere with investigations while lawyers argued that they are of fixed abode, they stay in a police camp and are easy to track.

“The averments by the State that investigations are still ongoing are unconvincing, the State can’t expect the court to lock them up and assist in their investigations, the law is clear that investigations must precede arrest.

“This ground didn’t pass the threshold of compelling reasons.”

Added the magistrate:

“The State also argued that they are flight risks, however, the presumption of innocence should work in their favour because they cooperated with investigations and didn’t flee.

“The investigating officer confirmed that if conditions are applied, they would partially agree to have them granted bail, but the word partially should be done away with because he conceded that he would not suffer any prejudice if the three are granted bail with conditions. 

“The State failed to convince this court on any compelling reasons and the three are thereby granted bail,” she said.

Magistrate Gofa ordered the trio to pay US$100 bail, to reside at their given addresses, to report once a week at CID Homicide, not to visit CID Stores and not to interfere with State witnesses.

Pardon Dziva appeared for the State.

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