State wants MDC’s Mamombe admitted at govt mental health hospital

By Court Reporter

PROSECUTORS have applied to have MDC Alliance politician Joana Mamombe admitted to a government mental health hospital for assessment.

Mamombe and MDC alliance activists Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova are charged faking abduction and torture allegations in May this year.

The State has argued that Mamombe is feigning metal health illness in a bid to avoid trial over the charges.

At Tuesday’s hearing, prosecutor Michael Reza told magistrate Bianca Makwande that Mamombe has been brought to the court four times with mental health excuses.

Making the application in terms of the Mental Health Act, Reza said the opposition politician needed to be detained in a government hospital to be assessed.

However, defence counsel Jeremiah Bamu asked the court to postpone the application, indicating that lead attorney Aleck Muchadehama was held up in Gweru with another case.

Bamu said his colleague had liaised with prosecutors over postponing the case to Friday.

Prosecutor Reza said he had told Muchadehama that he would oppose postponement because there was no need for the defence lawyer to wait for the sentencing of his other client in Gweru.

Still, Bamu insisted that he was unable to continue with the case as Muchadehama was in possession of the record of proceedings.

Magistrate Makwande then ruled that that Mamombe had a right to a fair hearing by choosing legal counsel of her choice despite the fact that Bamu was assisting Muchadehama.

She allowed the State to make its application in terms of section 26 (2)(b) of the Mental Health Act and gave Muchadehama the chance to respond on Wednesday.