MDC national organiser Amos Chibaya, who is being accused of failing to stop the August 16 demonstration after receiving a police prohibition notice, was yesterday released on $400 bail by a Harare magistrate.
Chibaya (42), who appeared before magistrate Learnmore Mapiye, was being represented by Obey Shava, a member of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.
As part of his bail conditions, Chibaya was ordered to reside at the given address, not to interfere with State witnesses and to surrender his passport.
In granting him bail, Mapiye ruled that the seriousness of the offence as alleged by the State was not reasonable grounds to deny him bail.
She further ruled that Chibaya must be treated as innocent until the court found him guilty. She said the State failed to proffer reasonable grounds to prove that the accused will interfere or is a flight risk. The matter was postponed to September 12.
Allegations are that on August 6 this year, Chibaya notified the regulating authority at Harare Central Police district of an intended public demonstration to be held in Harare central business district (CBD) on August 16 in terms of section 25 of the Public Order and Security Act.
It is alleged that on August 15, Chibaya was served with a prohibition notice by Chief Superintended Billa James Simbanechako in terms of section 26 of the Public Order and Security Act, prohibiting the holding of the intended public demonstration.
The State further averred that on August 16, Chibaya convened a public demonstration or caused members of the public to gather for a public demonstration in the CBD in defiance of the prohibition notice by the police.
Chibaya, as the convener of the public demonstration, is accused of failing to comply with the prohibition notice by not stopping the public from engaging in the public demonstration when he had a legal duty to do so.
Charles Muchemwa represented the State.