Hopewell Chin’ono has no symptoms of Covid-19 and is not a risk to other inmates, the court heard yesterday.
Chin’ono, who is facing charges of inciting public violence, appeared in court for his routine remand.
This came after Chin’ono’s lawyer Advocate Taona Nyamakura told the court that his client had been dragged to court by prison officers.
Adv Nyamakura told the court that his client was examined by a professional physician who observed that he was exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19.
“His doctor had advised that my client should not be brought to court or be in contact with other inmates since he was exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19,” he said.
Adv Nyamakura said prison authorities misled his client that his doctor wanted to examine him before manhandling him to court.
“My client is currently on medication, which he cannot take here at court. His doctor was supposed to examine him this morning, but all that could not happen because my client was forcibly brought here,” he said.
Before responding to Mr Nyamakura’s submissions, Prosecutor Mrs Tendai Shonhai successfully asked the court for a brief adjournment saying she wanted to contact the Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison doctor to get full information on the issue.
After the brief adjournment Mrs Shonhai told the court that she had spoken to Dr Blessing Dhorobha who indicated that the accused was complaining of having a headache on Monday and had a slight elevated temperature.
“Dr Dhorobha said he tried to examine the accused, but he refused saying he wanted his personal doctor,” said Mrs Shonhai.
She said from Dr Dhoroba’s observation, the accused was not showing any symptoms of Covid-19 like coughing and shortness of breath and was not a risk to other inmates.
“The accused has not exhibited any symptoms of Covid-19 except a slight elevated temperature and a headache,” she said.
Harare regional magistrate, Mr Ngoni Nduna said Chin’ono’s doctor should have submitted a report of his own findings for the court to have a clear picture on the issue.
He deferred the matter to September 15 after Mrs Shonhai assured the defence that she was going to furnish them with a trial date.
Advocate Nyamakura put the State on notice that he was going to make an application for refusal of further remand if a trial date was not given on the next remand date.
Meanwhile, the matter for MDC Alliance national vice chairperson, Job Sikhala, who is facing charges of inciting public violence ahead of the flopped July 31 protests continued with his lawyer, Ms Beatrice Mtetwa taking to the witness stand to testify.
In her testimony, Mrs Mtetwa tried to exonerate Sikhala after telling the court that she made all the arrangements to accompany him to the police if they were indeed looking for him.
However, the State led by Mr Garudzo Ziyadhuma opposed Ms Mtetwa’s claims saying she never delivered the said letter to the police since it was not signed.
Another witness, Mr Albert Masaka who is the editor of Zim Community News was called in to testify and also tried to exonerate Sikhala, but confirmed the interview with him.
The court heard that the video and audio clips under controversy were retrieved from the Zim Community news. Herald