Activist Godfrey Karembera’s Remand Lifted Amid Allegations

by Oluwatosin Alabi

In a significant legal twist, Godfrey Karembera, widely recognized as Madzibaba VeShanduko and a key activist for the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), has been cleared of all charges, as reported by NewsDay. The Harare magistrate, Ethel Chichera, proclaimed the removal from remand during Karembera’s court session this Tuesday.

Karembera’s legal team, which includes the prominent attorneys Tawanda Bvudzijena and Doug Coltart, had earlier decried the extended remand. They contended that the state’s delays in proceeding with the trial were neither just nor equitable. “He has languished on remand since last year. This prolonged detention is neither fair nor just,” Coltart told the court.

The allegations that led to Karembera’s arrest last March were multifaceted. Notably, he was charged with an attempt to defile the Mbuya Nehanda statue. This iconic statue stands tall at the juncture of Julius Nyerere Way and Samora Machel Avenue, right in the heart of Harare. On the day in question, 17 March 2022, Karembera was said to have raised political slogans near the statue, gathering an audience and causing disturbance. This reportedly prompted several bystanders to notify the police.

Further compounding matters, Karembera allegedly derided police officers who responded to the scene, branding them as “ineffectual.” This purported confrontation with the law enforcement was the catalyst for his arrest.

Yet, the crux of the case seems to be tied to Karembera’s claimed school fees. According to ZACC’s spokesperson, Thandiwe Mlobane, Karembera presented a recent board resolution, presumably authorizing his school fees claims. Mlobane, however, pointed to discrepancies between this recent resolution and an earlier one from the preceding year. She mentioned, “The accused provided a recent resolution, which was seemingly rushed when ZACC was concluding its investigation. This seemed to retrospectively legitimize his claims since 2021.”

Despite these heavy charges and the cloud of suspicion, Karembera’s removal from remand signals a turn in his legal journey. While the specifics of the case remain under scrutiny, his current liberation from prolonged detention has certainly brought this issue to the forefront of public discourse.

As the story continues to unfold, many are keen to see how the legal proceedings will develop and whether Karembera will be exonerated from all charges or face further legal action.

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