Zimbabwe politician, arrested over calls for anti-government protests, denied bail for third time

An opposition politician, Jacob Ngarivhume, who called for anti-government protests in Zimbabwe last month has been denied bail for the third time.

Magistrate Trynos Utahwasheof the Zimbabwean court on Friday in its ruling said he could be a danger to the public if released.

Ngarivhume has been in detention for a month after his arrest along with journalist Hopewell Chin’ono on charges of inciting violence, after he called for protests on July 31 against corruption and the President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government’s mishandling of the economy.

Critics have accused President Mnangagwa’s government of persecuting its opponents amid the worst economic crisis in more than a decade.

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The government denied the accusatio.

Magistrate Utahwashe said the fact that July 31 had come and gone without the violence the state had feared was “not sufficient to guarantee the safety of the public if the accused is granted bail”.

Ngarivhume, who arrived at court in leg irons and handcuffs, will return to court on Sept. 4 for a routine appearance.

His lawyer Moses Nkomo said he was “stunned” by the court’s decision but would appeal at the High Court next week.

Another magistrate is expected to rule on Chin’ono’s third bail application on Monday.

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