Courts and LawPolitics

Mamombe jailed during mental examination… EU expresses concern

The European Union Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Timo Olkkonen, said the treatment of Mamombe by the country’s courts raises questions about the integrity of the judiciary system.

Harare magistrate Bianca Makwande has thrown MDC Alliance legislator Joanah Mamombe (27) behind bars for two weeks while her mental state is examined.

Makwande said the court wanted to seek expert advice while she is behind bars.

Mamombe has been charged with allegations of faking her abduction along with party colleagues Netsai Marova (25) and Cecilia Chimbiri (31).

She said she did not trust the testimony of her doctor, arguing that she was not objective and that the court was not an expert on mental issues thus requiring expert advice to ascertain if the diagnosis was correct.

Makwande ruled that the court should exercise its jurisdiction judiciously and feels that section 26 should be invoked.

“Accused person has to be examined by neutral doctors. She has to be examined by two doctors who must each give independent reports.

“She is to be placed under the care of the Superintendent of Harare Remand prison for two weeks effective today,” she said.

The European Union Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Timo Olkkonen, said the treatment of Mamombe by the country’s courts raises questions about the integrity of the judiciary system.

“Whatever the charges and whatever the facts may in the end be, the treatment of Hon Mamombe Joana Mamombe raises serious questions about proportionality, decency and equal treatment before the law,” he said.

Political commentator Pedzisai Ruhanya said the continued detention of Mamombe was “supporting institutionalised gender violence in Zimbabwe”.

“Everyone in Zimbabwe who is silent on the abuse of MP Hon Joana Mamombe is supporting institutionalised gender violence in Zimbabwe. The judiciary is the lead in this stone age abuse of women in Zimbabwe. Joana Mamombe is being violated,” he said.

MDC Alliance national spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere urged Zimbabweans to condemn the abuse of Mamombe by the State.

“Every progressive Zimbabwean should condemn the abuse, persecution and maltreatment of @JoanaMamombe. If ever there’s been a time for solidarity in support of a woman who’s being victimized & retraumatized by the State, it is now. #FreeJoanna,” she said.

MDC Alliance MP Mamombe and party colleagues Chimbiri and Marova were arrested by police in May this year for participating in a demonstration where they were calling for the government to provide food to the poor during Covid-19 lockdown.

Police spokesperson Paul Nyathi confirmed their arrest. But the trio were abducted from police custody by suspected state security agents and released four days later with several injuries.

They were arrested and charged with allegations of faking disappearance before being released through a $10 000 bail by the High Court.

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