Tortured Toddler's Parents Remain In Jail Despite Being Granted Bail

Robert Mugabe speaking at the memorial service for Susan Tsvangirai at church this morning. Mugabe, who said the Susan's death was "The Hand Of God", has cancelled a ministerial retreat that was due to take place tomorrow at picture-perfect Victoria Falls. He has also cancelled the traditional cabinet meeting, due to be held today. Instead, Mugabe's office announced, Cabinet will be held on Thursday, all cabinet ministers were told through the state media to be in the Cabinet Room at 9 a.m.

This is Nigel Mutemagau at his release from Chikurubi Maxium Security Prison, where he was tortured in front of his mother to get her to confess to crimes of banditry and insurgency. ALL MDC activists abducted last August-September, whose whereabouts no one knew anything about until Christmas Eve, have now been released on bail. They include Jestina Mukoko, who remains in hospital. Nigel's parents, however, remain in jail because they are too poor to afford the bail conditions

The parents of 2 year Nigel Mutemagau, the toddler who spent some months in Chikurubi Maximum Prison and was tortured to get his mother to confess to banditry charges, remain in jail despite bail being granted by the courts.

Their crime this time is that they are too poor to afford the bail conditions. They initially were asked for surety of US$20 000, which their lawyers argued was unreasonable for simple rural folk like the Mutemagaus.

The lawyers succeeded in getting the bail conditions loosened considerably. All that remained was for the Mutemagaus to surrender their passports to the courts. Problem is, they do not have passports. So, while a whole lot of the abducted and disappeared detainees were released last week, Nigel has to wait for God knows how long to be reunited with his mother and father.

The Registrar of the courts is waiting for the Registrar General to confirm that the Mutemagaus really do not have passports. The authorities think that perhaps the Mutemagaus are just saying that, having hidden their passports, with which they will flee the country once released.

It does not help, of course, that the Registrar General sees no urgency to the matter at all and has given no indication as to when he will get round to actually searching the National Database.

In other words, then, Nigel's parents have no idea when they will be out, even though they were freed by the courts on bail.

In Zimbabwe, there is a common saying that, when translated, means: "Poverty is witchcraft." The basic meaning is that poverty curses those it afflicts.

Very apt, I think. The Mutemagaus are too poor to get out of jail.

Nigel himself has been taken into the care of relatives. He is very quiet, too quiet, in fact, and subdued, not like a two year old boy should be at all.

Meantime, Morgan Tsvangirai's closest aide, Ghandi Mudzingwa, had his application for refusal of further remand thrown out by the courts. He, Kisimusi Dhlamini, photographer Andrison Manyere and four others will remain in jail while the state completes what it is optimistically calling its "investigations".

These are seen as the drivers of the alleged plot to topple Mugabe by force. Tsvangirai puts so much value on Mudzingwa, especially, that those within the MDC say the imprisoned aide is like a favourite son to Tsvangirai.

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  1. BadGals Features this story - and links your blog on Wednesday. Keep the News Flowing Denford; we are behind you.

  2. Sometimes the way the media reports is very reckless and irresponsible. Journos ought to be professional. We are told as gospel truth and fact that a TODDLER was tortured in jail in front of the mother. Is this not a mere allegation in which evidence to prove or disprove has not been adduced?
    People can say anything they want to seek sympathy. We still vividly remember the case of Blessing Mabhena which finally proved to be wrong, the baby was not a victim of any Zanu Pf violence , but was born with such a condition. The whole media that had spread the lie, did not do enough to correct that, the damage was already done, when the truth came out.It is best to say it is claimed or it is alleged that things happened this way, especially where there is no evidence.


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