BAIL appeal ruling for jailed Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) president, Obert Masarure, has been set for this Thursday.

He is accused of obstructing the course of justice after he allegedly posted on his Twitter handle demanding the release of his colleague, Robson Chere, who was being held on allegations of murdering ARTUZ member, Roy Issa, in 2016.

Masaraure is being represented by his lawyer, Tapiwa Muchineripi, who told High Court judge, Justice Rodgers Manyangadze, that the lower court erred in denying his client bail.

The lawyer also submitted that the magistrate was wrong in accepting that his client was unrepentant, yet had no single conviction. “It is trite at law that a bail appeal stands or falls on account of whether or not the court aquo misdirected itself or committed any irregularity or unreasonably exercised its judiciary privilege in denying the appellant bail.

“In the present case, we urge the court to answer that question in the affirmative because the appellant is deemed innocent until proven guilty. There is no evidence that he is unrepentant. There was misdirection on this point,” said Muchineripi.

He added, “The lower court denied him bail on the basis that he had propensity to commit more crimes yet he has not a single conviction.

Muchineripi said the state has not proven that Masaruare posted the offensive content on Twitter.

“On what basis did the court aquo (lower court) find out there was a strong case against the appellant when anyone can just open an account and post what they want. Twitter did not authenticate he was the owner of that handle for one to say there is a strong case.”

With regards to propensity, Muchineripi said each case should be dealt with on its own merit.

“The court aquo did not place any value to the law touching on the appellant’s presumption of innocence, which was in his favour.”

Masaraure landed in the dock on 10 July, charged with incitement to commit public violence after he posted on his Twitter that the CID Law and Order department was being weaponised to paralyse ARTUZ operations.

He also has a number of criminal charges pending before the courts, including murder and subversion charges.

Source NewZimbabwe