THE State has ratcheted its bid to lock up Zimbabwe Economic Freedom Fighters (ZEFF) leader, Innocent Ndibali whom it accuses of contravening sections of the Immigrations and Control Act.
Ndibali, a Zimbabwean by birth and holder of a British passport, was arrested last Friday moments after addressing journalists at the Bulawayo media centre.
He was whisked away in full view of journalists by plain cloth police details from the Bulawayo CID Law and Order section accompanied by details from the Central Intelligence Organization to the Bulawayo Central Police station where a three-hour interrogation took place.
Ndibali, a former Zimbabwe Unemployed People’s Agenda (ZUPA) leader appeared at the Bulawayo Tredgold Magistrate’s Court this week facing charges of contravening the Immigration and Control Act.
However, his defence attorney, Jabulani Mhlanga told the court his client was being brought to court at a time when the charges he was facing were not clear.
“I will like this court to take note that the charge sheet that the State wants to use to lay charges against my client, for starters, is not clear,” said Mhlanga.
“When we came here, we were advised by the State that this is a summons case. Now the State wants this court to place my client on remand. It is not clear on which grounds the state wants the whole thing to change to,” Mhlanga added.
He also argued that the State had not furnished the defence counsel the real sections of the Immigration and Control Act his client had contravened.
“The state has indicated that my client contravened sections of the Immigrations and Control Act. It is not clear, my Lord, which section was contravene and how. It will be the duty of the State to prove its claims,” Mhlanga said.
The defence counsel also shred to pieces efforts by the state to nail Ndibali under contravention of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) wherein the state now alleges Ndibali addressed an illegal rally when in actual fact he addressed journalists at the invitation of the fourth estate.
“My Lord, it is public information that my client was invited to give a remark by the Bulawayo media centre. It is entirely not true that my client addressed a rally as alleged, or as the State would want this court to believe,” Mhlanga added.
Magistrate Tinashe Tashaya, in his ruling, gave the state time to put its case in order.
“Without infringing on your right to appeal, I would rule that you come back here tomorrow morning and make your case. The matter will be heard tomorrow morning,” said Tashaya.