ON a very Wednesday cold evening, dozens of MDC Alliance members were left frustrated after receiving a phone call that their bailed-out compatriots, Joanna Mamombe and Cecilia Chimbiri had sneaked out of Chikurubi Female Prison.
The duo was granted $20 000 bail each Wednesday midday by High Court judge, Justice Tawanda Chitapi.
They had been incarcerated for 62 days and left the heavily fortified prison around 21.30 hrs.
The two are facing charges of violating Covid-19 regulations after addressing the media at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts last March.
However, the MDC Alliance youthful supporters who had braved the cold weather and gathered from as early as 6 pm to give their colleagues a ‘hero’s welcome’ were left disappointed after being told Mamombe, the MP for Harare West, and Chimbiri, had since left the prison.
A convoy of cars immediately left at a high speed from the Chikurubi Prison’s main gate to Belvedere suburb where the offices of the two’s legal representatives are.
MDC Alliance deputy spokesperson Clifford Hlatshwayo later told NewZimbabwe.com that one of the prison officers at the maximum security facility had informed the released political activists, and their legal team that state security agents were waiting at the gate to arrest them if they addressed party supporters and the media.
As part of their latest bail conditions, Mamombe and Chimbiri are not allowed to address a gathering of more than 50 people or engage in any activity, which violates Covid-19 regulations.
“For security reasons, the legal team decided it was not a good idea to stop at the gate but take the young women straight to their residential places,” said Hlatshwayo.
“We are sorry the media could not have a chance to take pictures and videos of the two leaving.”
Passing his ruling, Justice Chitapi expressed concern over the two opposition activists’ repeated criminal acts before warning them that they were stretching the “courts’ patience”.