HARARE – Former ZANU PF youth leader Godfrey Tsenengamu spent the weekend behind bars after a court rolled over a ruling on his bail application to Monday and is expected back in court today.

Tsenengamu, expelled from the ruling party in March, is facing incitement of violence charges over anti-government protests that were planned for July, which President Emmerson Mnangagwa said were an “insurrection”.

He voluntarily walked into a police station on Friday morning and was immediately arrested, after he has been claiming that his family had been receiving threats from alleged state agents, who wanted to know his whereabouts.

Prosecutors opposed bail before magistrate Ngoni Nduna, arguing that Tsenengamu will be safe inside prison.

“The accused approached the police because he had noticed some people were following him day and night, so remanding him in custody will be good for his own security,” said state witness Detective Assistant Inspector Clifford Mugaviri.

In opposing bail, prosecutor Lancelot Mutsokoti also submitted to the court that Tsenengamu is facing a serious offence and could avoid trial if released on bail.

“The accused is facing a serious offence with a custodial sentence if found guilty. This might induce him to flee if granted bail,” said Mutsokoti.

He also added that travelling restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic have been eased and it would be easy for Tsenengamu to flee the court’s jurisdiction.

“Our borders are porous with numerous unrecognised points and even if the accused person surrenders his travelling documents, he could utilise these,” he said.

For the defence, lawyer Harrison Nkomo of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said that there is no evidence that if released on bail Tsenengamu would continue inciting violence.

“The state is denying him bail stating that he is yet to complete his mission post July 31 but journalist Hopewell Chin’ono, MDC Alliance deputy national chairman Job Sikhala and opposition Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume are facing the same charge but they are already admitted to bail. All their charges are related to the July 31 movement,” said Nkomo.

Nkomo also said that in terms of the law, like cases must be treated similarly, citing the Zimbabwe Law Reports.

He also said that the former Zanu PF youth leader will not abscond trial since he voluntarily went to a police station.

Nduna rolled over the matter to Monday 12 November for ruling.

Tsenengamu was the Zanu PF Youth League political commissar but an anti-corruption crusade against corruption by the League angered some party donors. The deputy secretary for the League, Lewis Matutu was suspended while Tsenengamu was expelled after refusing to back down.