Mujuru in attendance as war veteran Mahiya is granted $300 bail by Harare magistrate

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THERE were wild celebrations at the Harare Magistrate Courts Monday after war veteran Douglas Mahiya was granted $300 bail in a case in which he is charged with insulting President Robert Mugabe.Mahiya Mahiya2

The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) spokesperson was ordered to report twice a week at CID Law and Order and to reside at his Chitungwiza home.

Mahiya was arrested last Wednesday night in connection with a ZNLWVA communique which described Mugabe as a “genocidal” dictator and has been in police detention since.

During his initial bail hearing last week, Mahiya was in handcuffs but on Monday he was not. The Monday hearing was attended by many prominent people including former Vice President Joice Mujuru and former War Veterans minister Christopher Mutsvangwa. On Saturday prominent South African Human rights lawyer, George Bizos, attended the hearing.

Mahiya is being represented by Harrison Nkomo from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.

Meanwhile, according to reports, ZNLWVA secretary –general, Victor Matemadanda, who attended the Mahiya bail hearing has been arrested on similar charges as his colleague.

Reports said Matemadanda was taken to Harare Central police station accompanied by Lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa and head of CID Law and Order section, Chrispen Makedenge.

The crackdown on war veterans follows a speech by President Mugabe last week in which he vowed to track down those responsible for the damning communique. Mugabe told hundreds of supporters at the Zanu PF headquarters on Wednesday last week that he was going to treat his critics the same way he treated those who opposed his ascendancy to the helm of the party in the late 1970s. During the liberation war, Mugabe said, “traitors” were thrown into dungeons where they lived “like rats”.